The Feast of the Protection commemorates the appearance of the most holy Theotokos in the Church of Blachernae in Constantinople in the early sixth century, as recorded in the life of Saint Andrew the Fool for Christ's sake. While the multitudes of the faithful were gathered in church, Epiphanius, the friend of Saint Andrew, through the Saint's prayers, beheld the Virgin Mary above the faithful and spreading out her veil over them, signifying her unceasing protection of all Christians. Because of this we keep a yearly feast of gratitude, imploring our Lady never to cease sheltering us in her mighty prayers.
According to Eastern Orthodox Sacred Tradition, the apparition of Mary the Theotokos occurred during the 10th century at the Blachernae church in Constantinople where several of her relics (her robe, veil, and part of her belt) were kept. On Sunday, October 1 at four in the morning, St. Andrew the Blessed Fool-for-Christ, who was a Slav by birth, saw the dome of the church open and the Virgin Mary enter, moving in the air above him, glowing and surrounded by angels and saints. She knelt and prayed with tears for all faithful Christians in the world. The Virgin Mary asked Her Son, Jesus Christ, to accept the prayers of all the people entreating Him and looking for Her protection. Once Her prayer was completed, She walked to the altar and continued to pray. Afterwards, She spread Her veil over all the people in the church as a protection.
St Andrew turned to his disciple, St. Epiphanius, who was standing near him, and asked, "Do you see, brother, the Holy Theotokos, praying for all the world?" Epiphanius answered, "Yes, Holy Father, I see it and am amazed!"
According to the Primary Chronicle of St. Nestor the Chronicler, the inhabitants of Constantinople called upon the intercession of the Mother of God to protect them from an attack by a large Rus' army (Rus' was still pagan at the time). According to Nestor, the feast celebrates the destruction of this fleet sometime in the ninth century.
An icon of the Virgin Mary praying, surrounded by people, was said to be kept in the Blachernae church. It is said to reproduce the events as St Andrew saw them that day.
Schedule of Services
Great Vespers - 5:00 PM
First Hour - 5:45 PM
Third and Sixth Hour - 9:30 AM
Divine Liturgy - 10:00 AM
Followed by coffee hour and fellowship
Eve of the Feast - Great Vespers - 6:00 PM
Feast Days - Third and Sixth Hour - 8:30 AM
Divine Liturgy - 9:00 AM
The third Wednesday of the month - 6:00 PM
All are welcome to attend any and all services!
O Holy Father Innocent, Pray Unto God For Us!
Святий отче Іннокентіє, моли Бога за нас!
- September 30th - October 1st
The Holy Protection "Покров" of the Most-Holy Theotokos
-Divine Liturgy - Saturday at 9AM
*All are welcome to attend!
*Confessions will be heard before Divine Liturgy*