The reliquary keeping the Holy Cincture of the Mother of God will be taken from Kato Xenia Monastery in Greece to France next week.
A delegation from Greece will first bring the Holy Cincture to the Three Holy Hierarchs church in La Courneuve on the outskirts of Paris on Friday evening, September 30.
The delegation will be welcomed at 6.00 pm, while at 19.00, vespers will start for the feast of the Protection of the Theotokos.
On Saturday, October 1, His Grace Assistant Bishop Teofil of Iberia of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Spain and Portugal will preside over the Divine Liturgy beginning at 10.00 am.
At 15.00, Assistant Bishop Teofil will give a lecture entitled “The Theotokos in our lives.” Then, nuns from Kato Xenia monastery will present the history of the holy cincture of the Theotokos. Finally, beginning at 6.00 pm, the Sacrament of Holy Unction will be officiated.
On Sunday evening, the holy cincture will be carried to the Romanian Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael in Paris.
According to the Church tradition, the Mother of God entrusted Her garments to the Apostle Thomas. They were kept in the Holy Land until the 4th century.
Under the Byzantine Emperor Arcadius (395-408), the relic was solemnly translated to Constantinople and on September 13 (August 31 according to the old calendar), it was placed inside the Church of Blachernae.
After numerous miracles had occurred, the moment of the Placing of the Cincture of Theotokos became a universal Christian feast.
In 1522, during a major plague epidemic, Kato Xenia Monastery received two parts of the Holy Cincture.