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    01 Aug 12 Soonoyo Lent Started. Oh.. Morth Mariam Yoldath Aloho (Mother Of God) Pray For Us. On the 15th of August of every year the Church celebrates the
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    01 Aug'12
    Soonoyo Lent Started.
    Oh.. Morth Mariam Yoldath Aloho (Mother Of God) Pray For Us.

    On the 15th of August of every year the Church celebrates the feast of
    the Dormition (Shoonoyo) and Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the Mother
    of God. On this day we also celebrate her feast for the blessing of the Vineyards. This feast is preceded by a period of fasting from 1-15
    August.

    During these days faithful are asked to abstain from eating all foods which contain meat, eggs, seafood or dairy product.

    The following is an excerpt from an essay on the Virgin Mary by His
    Holiness Mor Ignatius Zakk I, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East.
    (Full text of the essay available @
    http://www.socmnet.org/Resource_The_Holy_Virgin_Mary_in_the_Syriac_Orthodox_Church.htm

    The Virgin’s Assumption.

    The virgin longed to ascend to heaven to join her son Jesus. Her
    dormition was in peace. The date of her death and how old she was have
    always been a controversial issue among historians. Most probably that
    was in AD 56 when she was seventy. Her Assumption in the flesh and soul was not instituted by the Syrian Church as a doctrine. The Virgin’s Assumption is a confessional patristic tradition based on the Syriac narrative of Apostle Thomas. In this narrative we read about the gathering of the Apostles in spirit in Jerusalem for the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, and about the late arrival of Tom, his encounter with the Virgin up in the sky on the way up to heaven, and his acquisition of her girdle, which he brought to the Apostles and his request to them to reopen her grave. When the Apostles did that they did not find her holy body. Thomas declared to them the truth of her ascension to heaven in her glorified flesh and that he witnessed her procession and received the girdle from her in testimony whereof. The Apostles believed him.

    Syriac tradition reports that Thomas took the girdle with him to India
    where he was martyred at the hands of pagan priests. When Thomas’ relics were taken to Edessa in the fourth century the girdle was brought with them. Finally the girdle reached the Church of the Virgin in Homs, which has been called the Church of the Virgin’s Girdle ever since. The girdle was discovered in 1852 during the time of Archbishop Mar Julius Peter (Later Patriarch Mar Ignatius Peter 4th.). The girdle was placed in the altar. Late Patriarch Ephrem I Barsoum, of blessed memory, rediscovered the girdle in 1953. The shrine of the girdle in the church in Homs has become a source of blessing for the faithful.

    A Litany written by Jacob of Serugh would be the best statement with which to conclude our discourse about the Virgin Mary.

    “Your prayer accompanies us, oh blessed. Your prayer accompanies us.
    The Lord answers your prayers and forgives us. May you, who is full of
    grace offer up supplications to the merciful and beseech Him to have
    mercy on those souls seeking it, Amen".
    -------------------------------
    Attached is an Icon of the Holy Girdle is handing over to Apostle St. Thomas in Oyar in front of St. Mary's Soonoro Syriac Orthodox Church, Holms, Syria.
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