The Prologue of Ohrid: September 8th
1. The Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God.
The holy Virgin Mary was born of her aged parents, Joachim and
Anna. Her father was of the tribe of David and her mother of
the tribe of Aaron, and so she was of royal blood from her father
and priestly blood from her mother. By this, she foreshadowed
Him who would be born of her as King and High Priest. Her parents
were already old and had no children, and, because of this, were
ashamed before men and humble before God. In their humility,
they prayed with tears that God would bring joy to their old
age with the gift of a child, as He had once given joy to the
aged Abraham and Sarah, giving them their son Isaac. God, almighty
and all-seeing, gave them a joy far exceeding all their expectations
and their wildest dreams, for He gave them not just a daughter,
but the Mother of God; He illumined them not only with temporal
joy but with eternal. God gave them just one daughter, who later
gave them just one grandson - but what a daughter and what a
grandson! Mary full of grace, blessed among women, the temple
of the Holy Spirit, altar of the living God, table of living
bread, ark of God's holy things, tree of the most delicious fruits,
glory of the human race, praise of womanhood, fount of virginity
and purity - this was the daughter given by God to Joachim and
Anna. Born in Nazareth, she was after three years taken to the
Temple in Jerusalem, whence she returned again to Nazareth and
shortly afterwards heard the tidings of the holy Archangel Gabriel
concerning the birth of the Son of God, the Saviour of the world,
from her most pure and virginal body.
2. The Feast of the Kalishto Icon of the Holy Mother of God.
In the monastery of the most holy Mother of God near the village
of Kalishto, to the west of Struga, the holy Mother of God revealed
her power and mercy through numerous miracles. Many of the sick
were miraculously healed, and robbers that intended plundering
or desecrating the monastery were fiercely punished by an unseen
power. The miraculous icon of the most holy Mother of God stands
in the church, and nearby are two healing springs - of St Peter
and St Ananias. Not far from the main church, in a cave, stands
the chapel of St Athanasius.
3. The Feast of the Pochaev Icon of the Holy Mother of God.
In the province of Volinsk there stands the famous monastery
of the Mother of God in Pochaev, where she first appeared in
about 1340 to two monks who were living the ascetic life in a
cave. From that time, the place became an inexhaustible fount
of innumerable miracles.