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BIRTH OF THE HOLY MOTHER (also known as “Nativity of the Theotokos”) - September 8

BIRTH OF THE HOLY MOTHER (also known as “Nativity of the Theotokos”) - September 8

9/8/2009 12:04:24 AM

According to the traditional celebration of the birth of the Holy Mother, on the eve of the holiday the ones that are sick and ailing should make a votive oath. It should be done in the following way: first, Virgin-Mary-bread is made, decorated with a bride’s bracelet. An Easter “doll” of dough is placed on top of the bread, covered with honey.

After it is baked, the sick man breaks the bread. He throws the first piece up through the chimney and eats the second, saying some kind of oath, like the following: “As long as I live I’ll not put goat meat in my mouth. For the illness – a honey bread, for me – cure and health!” Then he pours some red wine from a clay bowl for the illness, while the rest he drinks himself. Old people believe that after that the illness goes away, but they know that “an oath should not be broken till the grave!”

The establishment of four major feast days to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary took place in the days of the apostolic era and have a significance in the Greek Orthodox Church which has remained unaltered through nearly twenty centuries of Christianity. The mother' of the Son of God is honored on:

- March 25, the day of Annunciation when the Archangel Gabriel told Mary she was to become the mother of Jesus Christ (“Blagoveshtenie” Day in Bulgaria);
- August 15, the Repose of the blessed Virgin Mary (“Goliama Bogoroditsa” in BG);
- November 21, the Entrance of the Blessed Theotokos to the Temple;
- February 2, when the Mother of God brought the infant Jesus to the temple for presentation forty days after His birth;
- A fifth day of commemoration is celebrated on September 8, honoring the Virgin Mary on the day of her birth.

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