Friday, May 24, 2024 UTC


0831deposition-of-mpoy-robe0012        On August 31, we commemorate the Feast of the Placing of the Cincture of the Theotokos. According to Sacred Tradition, 3 days after the Most Holy Theotokos was reposed, she rose from the dead and ascended bodily to the heavens. During her ascension, she gave her Holy Belt to the Apostle Thomas. Thomas & the rest of the Holy Apostles, opened up her grave and didn’t find her body. The Holy Belt was proof of her Resurrection and bodily ascension to the heavens. The Holy Belt was made by the Blessed Virgin Mary herself with camel hair. Originally kept in Jerusalem and later in Constantinople. During the reign of Emperor Arcadius (395-408), the Belt was brought from Zela of Cappadocia to Constantinople, and placed in the Church of the Theotokos in the section of Chalcopratia. In 458 it was transferred by the Emperor Leo VI the Wise to the Blachernae church. The Empress Zoe, wife of Leo VI the Wise, out of gratitude for a miraculous cure, embroidered the Belt with gold thread, as it is found today, but divided it in 3 pieces. During the 12th century under Manuel I Komnenos (1143-1180) an official holiday for the Belt was established on August 31st. Parts of the holy Belt are in the Vatopedi monastery on Mt. Athos, in Trier monastery, and in Georgia.

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