My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ Our Only True Lord, God, and Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
On the 31st of August, the Holy Orthodox Church Commemorates
the Deposition of the honorable CINCTURE (BELT) of Our Most
Holy Lady THEOTOKOS.
The Virgin’s CINCTURE (Belt or Gk. ζώνη or Zonee), also known as belt or sash or girdle, was one of the most important holy relics in Constantinople. “Today, as s golden garland, O Modest Virgin, we set thy sash on the year’s end as an adornment.” The Ever-Virgin Theotokos has bestowed upon her people precious and mighty gifts, even her own raiment and sash, “which by her seedless childbirth has remained incorrupt; for, in her, nature and time are made new.” Her shrine is more honorable than the ark of the covenant. In the canticles, we read of old: “Behold Solomon’s bed; sixty mighty men of the mighty ones of Israel are round about it” [Song of Sol. 3:7].
Throughout the year we ought to offer up thanks and glorifications: first, to honor the Most Holy Trinity, Who created us out of much compassion and goodness, and second, to the Most Holy and Ever-Virgin Mary from whom we enjoy more boons than there are stars in the firmament or grains of sand in the seas. Indeed, we also Venerate many of the saints and praises them who glorified God and who are in turn glorified by Him. We marvel at the Wonders (Miracles) BY THE HOLY RELICS OF THE APOSTLES. One need mention only THE CHAINS OF THE APOSTLE PETER, commemorated by the Holy Church on the 16th of January, AS A SOURCE OF WONDERWORKINGS (MIRACLE-WORKINGS). God ENERGIZES A WELLSPRING OF MIRACLE S through His servants. We read that of Saint Paul’s ARTICLES OF CLOTHING THAT “God kept on performing works of power–not the ordinary ones which happen–so that, EVEN TO THOSE WHO WERE SICK, HANDKERCHIEFS OR APRONS FROM HIS SKIN WERE BEING PUT UPON THEM, AND THE DISEASES DEPARTED FROM THEM, AND THE EVIL SPIRITS WENT OUT FROM THEM (Acts 19:11-12).395-
On this day, we make mention of THE PRECIOUS BELT OF OUR MOST HONORABLE LADY THEOTOKOS. Why should her garments not perform Wonders (Miracles)? Do not doubt it in the least. The Prophet-King David remarks, “Trust ye not in princes, in the sons of men, in whom there is no salvation” (Psalm 145:2). We ARE TO PLACE OUR TRUST IN THE LORD OUR GOD, OUR HEAVENLY KING, AND OUR TRUST SHALL BE HONORED. WE TRUST IN HIS EVER-VIRGIN MOTHER AS WELL, AND WE SHALL PROSPER. Let us celebrate this day, the last day of the Church year, the deposition of the holy Cincture of the Almighty Lady and Mother and Queen of All. “For mighty streams of grace pour freely from her sacred shrine,” being manifested in “A FOUNTAIN OF ENDLESS CURES.”
Historical events are unclear, but the potent deeds that ensued ae patently clear, including PROTECTION FROM PERIL, POWER THAT PRESERVED HER CITY FROM DEFEAT, AND HEALING OF ALL MANNER OF MALADIES AND UNCLEAN PASSIONS. The holy Virgin’s raiment (esthes) became one of the most sacred relics of Constantinople, together with her Cincture (zonee), and her MAPHORION (VEIL), which covered her head and shoulders. On the 31st day of the month of August, we celebrate THE TRANSFER OF THE CINCTURE (BELT) OF THE Most Holy Theotokos from the Diocese of Zeela in Cappadocia to the Empire’s Capital of Constantinople. It was treasured in a special reliquary box, or SOROS, in the Church of Chalkoprateia. The church is situate in a quarter of Constantinople known as the Copper Market, which is West of Hagia Sophia. The BELT was first conveyed there during the reign of Eastern Emperor Arkadios (395-408 A.D.), who had become Augustus in 383 A.D. By the time o Justin II (565-578 A.D.), nephew of Justinian the Great, the belt was installed in an architectural SOROS of its own. The DEPOSITION OF THE BELT in the Church of Chalkoprateia was commemorated annually by the Holy Church on this day, the 31st of August. The Emperor visited the SOROS on the Feast of the Annunciation and the Nativity. The belt was later transferred to the Church of Vlachernai. Afterward, a procession was held every Friday between Vlachernai and Chalkoprateia.
“Deliver us, Virgin from friendship with the treacherous passions, as thou art compassionate.”
THE SYNAXIS OF THE MOST HOLY THEOTOKOS OF MIASENAE
ON September 1st.
The Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos of Miasenae is celebrated today because of the Wonder (Miracle) that was wrought when her holy icon, which had been cast into the lake called Zaguru in order to prevent it from being desecrated by the Iconclasts, MIRACULOUSLY AROSE INTACT FROM TEH DEPTHS OF THE LAKE AFTER MANY YEARS.
Apolytikion (Dismissal) Hymn of the Theotokos. Grave Tone
REJOICE, thou who art full of grace, O Virgin Theotokos, haven and protection of the
race of man; for the Redeemer of the world became incarnate of thee; for thou alone
art both mother and virgin, Ever-Blessed and Glorified. Intercede with Christ God that
peace be granted unto the world.
[Source: The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church and Great Horologion]
“Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostomos
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With sincere agape in His Divine and Glorious Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God