This Thursday Oct 1st we celebrate the feast of the Protection of the Theotokos. This service started as a commemoration of the deliverance of Constantinople from the invasion of the Slavs, but has through the centuries become a service that is a commemoration not only this historical event (even more ironic as it is feast that is precious in the hearts of Slavic Churches), but also a commemoration of the intercessions made for us by the most holy Theotokos.
We might not be under the assault of invading barbarians, but we are constantly assaulted by the trials and tribulations of life, that seek to discourage, and separate us from the love of the Lord. Yet through all these assaults, the Virgin Mary intercedes with tears and compassion over our situations, and she stretches out her veil of protection on us, as she did over Constantinople those centuries ago.
Last year my wife commissioned an Icon of the Protection of the Mother of God from our beloved Fr. Vladimir. In this beautiful Icon the Theotokos is doing just that, protecting us, literally. Beyond her beautiful and prayerful stance and poise, we see her covering our little Church of St. Nicholas, and the building the Mission in Winkler was serving at, all beneath her protecting veil.
Such a profound statement of the Theotokos’ love for my wife and family, and all our family at St. Nicholas and the Mission. The Theotokos is indeed an Icon of motherly love that brings us the peace of her son, and the consolation of His saving victory over death and sin, around the world, and especially here. May we have the eyes of faith to see that love and protection stretched over us at St. Nicholas and the Mission in Winkler, and the whole of the world, even in the darkest times. Most Holy Theotokos save us!