Protection of the Theotokos

Church of Blachernae in Constantinople, Turkey – 2006 Visit

Greetings on The Protection of the Mother of God a beloved Orthodox feast day, commemorated October 14/1.

The Church of Blachernae was originally built beside a miraculous holy well, by the Emperor Justinian in the latter years of his reign (559-560 AD), and enclosed with remaining construction material from the Cathedral Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.

Damaged later by fires and rebuilt twice (in the 11th and 15th century), the present church still contains the holy well. Additional exterior construction seen today was added in 1867.

Blachernae Church’s Holy Well in 2006 Visit

Several of the Theotokos’ relics were kept in this church; her robe, veil, and part of her belt were transferred from Palestine, during the fifth century. 

This feast day celebrates the appearance of the Mother of God at Blachernae (Constantinople, Turkey). In the year 911, the city was threatened by a barbarian invasion. St. Andrew, with his disciple St. Epiphanius, and a group of people in the church, saw the Mother of God, St. John the Baptist, and several other saints and angels during a vigil service in the Church of Blachernae. In tears, the Theotokos approached the centre of the church, knelt down and remained in prayer for a long time. As a sign of her protection, she rose, took her omophorion (scarf-like veil), and held it aloft, thereby covering all the people present in the church. By her miraculous intervention, danger was averted and the city spared from violence and suffering.

Each human soul is precious to the Mother of God!

May the joy, comfort and glory of the Most Holy Theotokos’ Protection, encompass all and shine within our hearts.

Below is an English version of the original 6th century Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos, attributed to St. Roman the Melodist . (Today is also his day too!)

Greetings and Congratulations to the dear Nuns at Holy Protection Convent on this, their Special Day!

O Most Holy Theotokos, pray to God for us!

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