Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Placing of the Venerable Belt of the Theotokos

Today, 31st of August, the Orthodox Church celebrates the Placing of the Venerable Belt of the Theotokos. This is to commemorate the Placing of the Belt of the Mother of God, which took place in Constantinople’s Chalcoprateia, during the reign of Emperor Theodosius the Younger, being transferred from Jerusalem to the Imperial Byzantine Capital. This was initially given from the Virgin Mary to Apostle Thomas.

It has been recorded that the holy relic has done a number of miracles. One of them was healing the Empress Zoe, the wife of Emperor Leo the Wise, who was afflicted with an unclean spirit. The Empress has a vision whereby she was healed, when the Belt was placed upon her. By that time the relic was placed in a coffer. The Emperor, therefore, asked the Patriarch of Constantinople to open the coffer. After placing it on the body of the Empress, she was immediately freed from her infirmity. This great miracle is commemorated today by the Orthodox Church. Parts of the Holy Belt of the Theotokos are located on the Monastery of Vatopedi (Mount Athos) and elsewhere worldwide.
The Apolytikion of the Feast is the following:

Ever-Virgin Theotokos, protectress of mankind, You have given your people a powerful legacy: The robe and sash of your most honoured body which remained Incorrupt throughout your seedless childbearing; For through you time and nature are renewed! Therefore we implore you: "Grant peace to your people and to our souls great mercy!"

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