The Holy Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos and Virgin Mary over the town of Blachernae in the kingly city of Constantinople.
In the tenth Century, the Holy Saint Andrew the Fool was deemed worthy to see a vision of the Most Holy Theotokos protecting the city with her veil and sash, saving them from the would-be-looting pirates. This day, for many centuries, was celebrated on October 1st (the day it was recorded to happen) however the Ecumenical Patriarchate decided to translate the feast to today to coincide with the second Greek national day – Όχι day – when the brace Metaxas denied the Italians entry into Greece, saying a firm “No!” to the fascist Mussolini and thus saving Greece from a fate that would have destroyed the Greek nation. Thus the Holy Orthodox Church attributes the salvation of the Greek lands to the Most Holy Virgin Theotokos.
Ἦχος α’. Τῆς ἐρήμου πολίτης.
Τῆς Σκέπης σου Παρθένε, ἀvuμνοῦμεν τάς χαρίτας, ἣν ὡς φωτοφόρον νεφέλην, ἐφαπλοῖς ὑπὲρ ἔννοιαν, καὶ σκέπεις τὸν λαόν σου νοερῶς, ἐκ πάσης τῶν ἐχθρῶν ἐπιβουλῆς. Σὲ γὰρ σκέπην καὶ προστάτιν καὶ βοηθόν, κεκτήμεθα βοῶντές σοι· Δόξα τοῖς μεγαλείοις σου Ἁγνή, δόξα τῇ θείᾳ Σκέπῃ σου, δόξα τῇ πρὸς ἡμᾶς σου, προμηθείᾳ Ἄχραντε.
Ἦχος πλ. δ’. Θεοτόκε Ἀειπάρθενε.
Θεοτόκε Ἀειπάρθενε, τὴν ἁγίαν σοῦ Σκέπην, δι’ ἧς περισκέπεις, τοὺς εἰς σὲ ἐλπίζοντας, κραταιὰν τῷ Ἔθνει σου καταφυγὴν ἐδωρήσω‧ ὅτι ὡς πάλαι καὶ νῦν θαυμαστῶς ἡμᾶς ἔσωσας, ὡς νοητὴ νεφέλη, τὸν σὸν λαὸν περιβαλοῦσα. Διὸ δυσωποῦμεν σε, εἰρήνην τῇ πολιτείᾳ σου δώρησαι, καὶ ταῖς ψυχαῖς ἡμῶν τὸ μέγα ἔλεος.
Ἦχος πλ. δ’. Τῇ ὑπερμάχῳ.
Ὥσπερ νεφέλη ἀγλαῶς ἐπισκιάζουσα, τῆς Ἐκκλησίας τὰ πληρώματα Πανάχραντε, ἐν τῇ πόλει πάλαι ὤφθης τῇ Βασιλίδι. Ἀλλ’ ὡς σκέπη τοῦ λαοῦ σου καὶ ὑπέρμαχος, περισκέπασον ἡμᾶς ἐκ πάσης θλίψεως, τοὺς κραυγάζοντας· Χαῖρε Σκέπη ὁλόφωτε.
Today the faithful celebrate the feast with joy / illumined by your coming, O Mother of God. / Beholding your pure image we fervently cry to you: / “Encompass us beneath the precious veil of your protection; / deliver us from every form of evil by entreating Christ, / your Son and our God that He may save our souls.”
Today the Virgin stands in the midst of the Church / and with choirs of saints she invisibly prays to God for us. / Angels and bishops worship, / apostles and prophets rejoice together, / since for our sake she prays to the pre-eternal God.