in Constantinople (911); Saints: Saint Ananias of Damascus, one of the Seventy Apostles and first Bishop of Damascus (1st c.); Martyr Domninus of Thessalonica (4th c.); Holy Emperor Mirian III of Iberia and Empress Nana of Mtskheta, Georgia, Equals-to-the-Apostles, St. Abiathar of Mtskheta, and St. Sidonia, disciple of St. Nina (4th c.); Venerable Romanos the Melodist, "Sweet-singer" (ca.556); Monk-Martyrs Michael, Abbot of Zovia Monastery near Sebaste, and 36 fathers with him (ca.790); Saint Melchizedek, Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia (ca.1030); Saint Piatus of Tournai, who enlightened the areas around Tournai in Belgium and Chartres in France (ca.286); Martyrs Verissimus, Maxima and Julia, in Portugal under Diocletian (ca.302); Martyrs Aretas, and five-hundred-and-four other martyrs, at Rome; Saint Aladius (Albaud), Bishop of Toul in France. (ca.520); Saint Bavo of Ghent, penitent and hermit, patron of Haarlem in the Netherlands (659); Saint Dodo, Abbot of Wallers-en-Faigne (750); Saint Fidharleus, restorer of the monastery of Rathin in Ireland (762); Martyr-prince Mylor of Brittany (Melorius); Saint Virila, Abbot of the Monastery of the Saviour in Leyre in Spain (ca. 1000); Saint Gregory the Singer of the Great Lavra of Mount Athos (Gregory Domesticus) (1355); Saint John Koukouzelis the Hymnographer of the Great Lavra on Mount Athos (1360); Venerable Sabbas, Abbot of Vishera in Novgorod, the Wonderworker (1461); Saint Domna Slipchenko, Fool-for-Christ, native of Poltava (1872); New Hieromartyr Alexis, priest (1918); New Hieromartyr Michael (Vologodsky), priest of Krasnoyarsk (1920); New Hieromartyr George (Archangelsky), priest (1937); New Hieromartyrs Alexander, Gregory, Nicholas, priests (1937); Martyr John (1937); New Hieromartyr Archpriest Ismael (Rozhdestvensky) of Strelna (St. Petersburg) (1938); New Hieromartyr Theodore (1940); Other Commemorations: Commemoration of the Apparition of the Pillar with the Robe of the Lord at Mtskheta, Georgia (ca.330); Translation of the relics of Saint Remigios of Rheims, Apostle to the Franks (533); Synaxis of the of the Most-Holy Theotokos Gorgoepikoos ("She who is quick to hear"), at the Dochiariou monastery on Mount Athos (1664); Repose of Hiero-schemamonk Euthemius of Valaam (1829); Icons: Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos “Pokrov” (Pskov-Protection Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos) (1581); Icon of the Theotokos of Brayiliv-Pochaiv (Brailovska) at Brayiliv near Vinnitsa; Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos Lublin (Liublinsk); Transfer of the Terebovlya Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God from Terebovlya to Lvov (1672); Icon of the Mother of God of Gerbovets (Herbovetska) (1790, 1859); Icon of the Mother of God of Kasperov (Kasperivska), defended the city of Odessa during the Crimean War (1853-1855); Icon of the Mother of God of Barsk (Barska) (1887).
The Protection of the Mother of God is one of the most beloved feast days on the Orthodox calendar among the Slavic peoples, commemorated on October 1. The feast is celebrated additionally on October 28 in the Greek tradition. It is also known as the feast of the Virgin Mary's Cerement.
In most Slavic languages the word "cerement" has a dual meaning of "veil" and "protection." The Russian word Pokrov (Покров), like the Greek Skepi (Σκέπη), has a complex meaning. First of all, it refers to a cloak or shroud, but it also means protection or intercession. For this reason, the name of the feast is variously translated as the Veil of Our Lady, the Protecting Veil of the Theotokos, the Protection of the Theotokos, or the Intercession of the Theotokos.
The feast day celebrates the appearance of the Mother of God at Blachernae (Vlaherna) in the tenth century. At the end of St. Andrei (Andrew of Constantinople) Yurodivyi's life, he, with his disciple St. Epiphanius, and a group of people, saw the Mother of God, St. John the Baptist, and several other saints and angels during a vigil in the Church of Blachernae, nearby the city gates. The Blachernae Palace church was where several of her relics were kept. The relics were her robe, veil, and part of her belt that had been transferred from Palestine during the fifth century.
The Theotokos approached the center of the church, knelt down and remained in prayer for a long time. Her face was drowned in tears. Then she took her veil (cerement) off and spread it over the people as a sign of protection. During the time, the people in the city were threatened by a barbarian invasion. After the appearance of the Mother of God, the danger was averted and the city was spared from bloodshed and suffering.
The Protection is commemorated most fervently in Slavic churches, probably because St. Andrei was a Slav. The first celebration of the Theotokos's cerement in the Russian Orthodox Church dates back from the 12th century and today is celebrated throughout the Orthodox Church.
The feast day commemorating the miracle is celebrated with an All-Night Vigil, with many of the same elements as occur on Great Feasts of the Theotokos. However, this feast has no afterfeast.