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The Protection of the Mother of God

is a feast of Orthodox churches.

On Oct. 1, 911, Constantinople was besieged by a viking-style gang consisting mostly of Russians. The fall of the city seemed inevitable. Most non-military population gathered in churches where the services had been conducted day and night. At four o’clock in the morning st. Andrew, the fool-for-Christ, and his disciple Epiphanus, came to see Our Lady praying in the altar. After the prayer, She has covered people gathered in the church by Her veil, as if protecting them from cold or cloaking from the enemy.

The city was spared by the time. The gang turned away satisfied with a modest tribute. Since that the orthodoxes celebrate the feast of Protection, or Intercession, or Veil: Greek word  ÓêÝðç can mean all of above. It may seem strange that the feast is most loved by Russians, wrong side in the story. It requires some reasoning to gasp that the violence and terror inflicted by Russian gangs (either state-owned or private) abroad must be a minor fraction of that inflicted on their own soil. The conclusion is that Russians need the protecting veil most: to cloak from themselves.

Anyway the protection, the mercy comes to everybody. Mostly undeserved. Glory to God. 

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