July 2 The Deposition of the Venerable Robes of our most holy Lady, the Theotokos at Blachernae Constantinople 

Bulletin as of July 1 2024

During the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Leo the Great (457-474), the brothers Galbius and Candidus, associates of the emperor, set out from Constantinople to Palestine to venerate the holy places. In a small settlement near Nazareth they stayed in the home of a certain old Jewish woman. In her house they noticed a room where many lamps were lit, incense burned, and sick people were gathered. When they asked her what the room contained, the woman did not want to give an answer for a long time. After persistent requests, she said that she had a very precious sacred item: the Robe of the Mother of God, which performed many miracles and healings. Before her Dormition the Most Holy Virgin bequeathed one of her garments to a pious Jewish maiden, an ancestor of the old woman, instructing her to leave it to another virgin after her death. Thus, the Robe of the Mother of God was preserved in this family from generation to generation. The jeweled chest, containing the sacred Robe, was transferred to Constantinople. On June 2, 458 St. Gennadius, Patriarch of Constantinople, transferred the sacred Robe into the Blachernae church with appropriate solemnity, placing it within a new reliquary.



Ever-virgin Mother of God and protection of the human race, you gave the robe and cincture of your most pure body to your city as a powerful protection. These garments remained incorrupt because of your virginal childbirth. For in you, both time and nature have been renewed. Therefore, we pray that you grant peace to the universe and great mercy to our souls. 



As a mantle of immortality you have given to the faithful the garment that covered your most pure body, O Virgin whom God himself has blessed and divine protection of the human race. With love we celebrate the feast of the deposition of your mantle, and we sing with faith: Rejoice, O Virgin, for you are the pride of Christians. 



Readings for the feast


Hebrews 9: 1-7

Brothers and sisters: The first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly sanctuary. For a tabernacle was constructed, the outer one, in which were the lampstand, the table, and the showbread; this was called the holy place. Behind the second veil was the tabernacle called the holy of holies, in which were the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant entirely covered with gold. In the ark were the golden jar containing manna, the rod of Aaron which had blossomed, and the tablets of the covenant. Above the ark were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the place of expiation. We cannot speak not of each of these in detail. These were the arrangements for worship. In performing their service the priests used to go into the outer tabernacle constantly, but only the high priest went into the inner one, and that but once a year, with the blood which he offered for himself and for the sins of the people. 



Luke 10: 38-42, 11: 27-28

At that time Jesus entered a village where a woman named Martha welcomed him to her home. She had a sister named Mary, who seated herself at the Lord’s feet and listened to his words. Martha, who was busy with all the details of hospitality, came to Jesus and said, “Lord, are you not concerned that my sister has left me to do the household tasks all alone? Tell her to help me.”

The Lord in reply said to her: “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and upset about many things; one thing only is required. Mary has chosen the better portion and she shall not be deprived of it.”

While he was saying this a woman from the crowd called out, “Blest is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!” Jesus replied, “Rather, blest are they who hear the word of God and keep it.”

Readings for the day


1 Corinthians 6:20 – 7:12

Brothers and sisters: Glorify God in your body. Now for the matters you wrote about. A man is better for having no relations with a woman. But to avoid immorality, every man should have his own wife and every woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his conjugal obligations toward his wife, the wife hers toward her husband. A wife does not belong to herself but to her husband; equally, a husband does not belong to himself but to his wife. Do not deprive one another, unless perhaps by mutual consent for a time, to devote yourselves to prayer. Then return to one another, that Satan may not tempt you through your lack of self-control. I say this by way of concession, not as a command. Given my preference, I should like you to be as I am. Still, each one has his own gift from God, one this and another that. 

To those not married and to widows I have this to say: It would be well if they remain as they are, even as I do  myself; but if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. It is better to marry than to be on fire. To those now married, however, I give this command (though it is not mine; it is the Lord’s): a wife must not separate from her husband. If she does separate, she must either remain single or become reconciled to him again. Similarly, a husband must not divorce his wife. 

As for the other matters, although I know of nothing the Lord has said, I say: If any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever but is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 



Matthew 14: 1-13

On one occasion Herod the tetrarch, having heard of Jesus’ reputation, exclaimed to his courtiers, “This man is John the Baptizer –  it is he in person, raised from the dead; that is why such miraculous powers are at work in him!” Recall that Herod had had John arrested, out in chains, and imprisoned on account of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip. That was because John had told him, “It is not right for you to live with her.” Herod wanted to kill John but was afraid of the people, who regarded him as a prophet. Then on Herod’s birthday the daughter of Herodias performed a dance before the court which delighted Herod so much that he swore he would grant her anything she asked for. Prompted by her mother she said, “Bring me the head of John the Baptizer on a platter.” The king immediately had his misgivings, but because of his oath and the guests who were present he gave the order to have John beheaded in prison. John’s head was brought in on a platter and given to the girl, who took it to her mother. Later his disciples presented themselves to carry his body away and bury it. Afterward, they came and informed Jesus.

When Jesus heard this, he withdrew by boat from there to a deserted place by himself. The crowds heard of it and followed him on foot from the towns. 


Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com


Monday, July 1 –

  • 5:00 PM