The Orthodox Tradition of Holy Protection

Holy Protection Mission Parish, or the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God Church, is the name of the Lewisburg-area Orthodox Church that will begin services on Sunday, Sept. 13, at 11 a.m., in St. John’s Lutheran Church (Dry Valley), Rte .304 at Stein Lane.

But the Church draws its name from an ancient Orthodox Tradition dating back to early Constantinople.

See the Orthodox Wiki article on Holy Protection, which includes this account:

“The feast day celebrates the appearance of the Mother of God at Blachernae (Vlaherna) in the tenth century. At the end of St. Andrei (Andrew of Constantinople) Yurodivyi’s life, he, with his disciple St. Epiphanius, and a group of people, saw the Mother of God, St. John the Baptist, and several other saints and angels during a vigil in the Church of Blachernae, nearby the city gates. The Blachernae Palace church was where several of her relics were kept. The relics were her robe, veil, and part of her belt that had been transferred from Palestine during the fifth century. The Theotokos approached the center of the church, knelt 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 was averted and the city was spared from bloodshed and suffering.”

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