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Bulgarian Orthodox Church Celebrates Virgin Mary's Cerement

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    2005.10.01 Focus: Bulgarian Orthodox Church Celebrates Virgin Mary s Cerement Today 1 October 2005 | 09:21 | FOCUS News Agency Sofia. The Bulgarian Orthodox
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 3, 2005
      2005.10.01 Focus:
      Bulgarian Orthodox Church Celebrates Virgin Mary's Cerement Today

      1 October 2005 | 09:21 | FOCUS News Agency

      Sofia. The Bulgarian Orthodox Church celebrates Virgin Mary's Cerement
      today.

      In most Slavic languages the word "cerement" has a dual meaning of
      "veil" and "protection". This holiday dates back to the 10th century
      and honours the appearance of the Mother of God in Constantinople.
      This extraordinary omen happened in the first half of the 10th
      century, at the end of St. Andrei Yurodivi's life (d. around 936). A
      group of people saw the Mother of God, St. John the Baptist and
      several other saints during a vigil in the Church of Vlaherna, nearby
      the city gates.

      She approached the centre of the church, kneeled 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 passed away and the city was saved from bloodshed and
      suffering.

      It is remarkable that this holiday is celebrated only in the Slavic
      countries - probably because St. Andrei was a Slav. The first
      celebration of Holy Mary's cerement in the Russian Orthodox Church
      dates back from the 12th century. In Constantinople, although no one
      celebrated this holiday, St. Andrei's vision of the God's Mother was
      often talked about. There was an icon of Holy Mary as she appeared to
      St. Andrei in the Church of Vlaherna.
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