Deposition of the Precious Robe of the Theotokos in Vlachernae
During the reign of Leo the Great (457-474 AD) two patricians and brethren on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land lodged with an old widow, a Christian of Jewish descent. Seeing the many miracles wrought at a small shrine in her house, they pressed her until she revealed to them that she had raiment of the most Holy Theotokos kept in a small coffer. Our Lady had had two virgins in her lifetime who attended upon her; before her Holy Dormition, she gave each of them one of her divine garments as a blessing. This old widow was of the family of one of those two virgins, and it had come through the generations into her hands. With the permission of God, that this holy relic might be had for the profit of many, the two men took the garment by stealth and brought it to Vlachernae near Constantinople, and building a church in honour of the Apostles Peter and Mark, they secretly enshrined the garment therein.
But here again, because of the multitude of miracles that were worked, it became known to the Emperor Leo, and a magnificent church was built, as some say, by that same Leo, but according to others, by his predecessors Marcian and Pulcheria, and enlarged by Leo when the holy raiment was found. The Emperor Justin the Younger completed the church, which the Emperor Romanus IV Diogenes raised up immediately again after it had burned in 1070. It burned again in 1434 AD, and from that time it remained a small house of prayer together with the renowned holy spring. After the seventh century, the name Vlachernae was given to other churches and monasteries by their pious founders out of reverence for this famous church in Constantinople. In this church John Catacuzene was crowned in 1345 AD; also, the Council against Acindynus, the follower of Barlaam, was convoked here.
Dismissal Hymn (Plagal of the Fourth Tone)
O Ever-Virgin Theotokos, shelter of mankind, you have bestowed a mighty in vesture upon you people, even your immaculate body’s raiment and sash, which by your seedless childbirth have remained incorrupt; for in your nature and time are made new. Therefore, we implore you to grant peace to the world, and great mercy to our souls.
Kontakion (Fourth Tone)
O godly shelter that covers all mankind, the sacred robe that covered your sacred body you have bestowed on all the faithful graciously, O pure Virgin, as a robe of divine incorruption. As we celebrate with love its august deposition, we cry to you with fear, O graced of God: Rejoice, O modest one, boast of the Christian race.
We Also Celebrate Today:
Juvenal, Patriarch of Jerusalem
Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos of the Orphan