Rus Articles Journal

How the holiday of the Intercession of the Theotokos appeared and celebrated in Russia?

One of the main orthodox holidays - the Intercession of the Theotokos - are noted on October 14.

the Holiday of the Intercession of the Theotokos came to Russia from Byzantium and was established in the middle of the 12th century by efforts of the Saint prince Andrey Bogolyubsky. According to the legend, the event which occurred on October 14 910 g in the city of Constantinople besieged by saratsina, in the Vlakhernsky temple in which the cope, a head cover and Blessed Virgin Mary`s belt were stored became a basis of a holiday. Among praying on the All-night vigil there were blessed Andrey and his pupil Epiphanius. Having looked at the Sky, Saint Andrey unexpectedly saw the Blessed Virgin striding by air in an environment of angels and Saints. Having kneeled down, Blessed Virgin long prayed, and after that, having approached a temple throne, unveiled with the heads (cover) and spread it over the people praying in the temple, having marked thereby the protection against enemies granted by her to all Christian world. When the Virgin departed, the cover became invisible.

This legend reflects honoring of an attire (cope) of the Mother of God, widespread in Byzantium. In orthodox Russia under the word cover it was understood and covered, and the protection proceeding from Blessed Virgin`s image. Numerous victories of the Russian people are attributed to this protection. In 1165 in honor of the Protection of the Holy Virgin the Grand duke Vladimir Andrey Bogolyubsky built the most beautiful temple of the Cover on Nerli.

On a holiday of the Intercession of the Theotokos the believing people pray for protection, protection against all disasters, sending of grace. By this time all agricultural works came to an end. Pokrov - the first to a zazimya, possible cold weather approach and frosts. To Pokrov villagers protected the dried-up apple-tree branches because was considered that if to burn them on October 14, then all winter in the house it will be warm. On weather on Pokrov people judged the forthcoming winter: if cranes already flew away, there will be an early and cold winter; if this day east wind blows, the winter will be cold, the southern wind - to warm winter, western - to snow. Snow on Pokrov foretells snow and cold winter and if snow to Pokrov falls, the winter will come not soon.

Besides, since October 14 in villages began to play weddings. If on Pokrov snow drops out, young people will be happy and if weather windy, is great demand for brides, - said in the people. On Pokrov girls kept saying: The Father Pokrov, cover mother to cheese the earth and me, to a hammer! Snow the earth Is white covers: not me to a hammer, in marriage equips? . At this time girls gathered to spin flax, and then to weave ordinary a veil, trying to end by all means all work in one day. The prepared unbleached linen before a mass was born to an icon of the Intercession of the Theotokos, at the same time sentencing: Mother Bogoroditsa! Breed me somewhat quicker, is sent a zhenishka more cleverly! .

From Pokrov owners began to warm the house for the winter, to exhaust heat . In operating time spoke: Take heat to Pokrov Repair a fur coat to Pokrov, that it will be warm . Flooding the furnace, hostesses kept saying special words: Batyushko - Pokrov, heat our hut without firewood . By Pokrov`s holiday tried to bring full order to a log hut and to prepare as much as possible food from fruits of a new harvest. Also this holiday was considered last afternoon of collecting fruits and mushrooms. Believed that this day it is possible to save children from cold, for this child poured water through a sieve on a log hut threshold.

If Pokrov`s holiday of Blessed Virgin is necessary not on Wednesday and Friday, any food is allowed, in other case the meat, dairy and egg food is forbidden, and it is permitted fishes.

In joyful day of the Intercession of the Theotokos believers pray to the Defender: Breed us your honest cover and izbav us from any evil, a molyashcha of the Son Tvoyego, Christ, our God, rescue souls ours!

God bless you!