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Commemorated on August 31st

Placing of the Honorable Sash of the Most Holy Theotokos

The_Holy_Belt 31st Aug

The Placing of the Venerable Belt of the Most Holy Theotokos in a church of Constantinople's Chalcoprateia district took place during the reign of the emperor Theodosios the Younger. Before this pious Christians at Jerusalem kept the holy relic, entrusted to the Apostle Thomas by the Theotokos Herself after Her Dormition.

During the reign of Emperor Leo the Wise (886-911 AD), his wife Zoe was afflicted with an unclean spirit, and he prayed that God would heal her. The empress had a vision that she would be healed of her infirmity if the Belt of the Theotokos were placed upon her. The emperor then asked the Patriarch to open the coffer. The Patriarch removed the seal and opened the coffer in which the relic was kept, and the Belt of the Theotokos appeared whole and undamaged by time. The Patriarch placed the Belt on the sick empress, and immediately she was freed from her infirmity. They sang hymns of thanksgiving to the Most Holy Theotokos, and then they placed the venerable Belt back into the coffer and resealed it.

In commemoration of the miraculous occurrence and the twofold Placing of the venerable Belt, the Feast of the Placing of the Venerable Belt of the Most Holy Theotokos was established. Parts of the holy Belt are in the Vatopedi monastery on Mount Athos, in Trier monastery, and in Georgia.

Dismissal Hymn (Plagal of the Fourth Tone)

O Ever-Virgin Theotokos, shelter of mankind, you have bestowed a mighty investure upon you people, even your immaculate body's raiment and sash, which by they 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 (Second Tone)

You precious sash, O Theotokos, which encompassed your God-receiving womb, is an invincible force for thy flock, and unfailing treasury of every good, O only Ever-virgin