On August 31, the Orthodox Church commemorates the Deposition of the Sash of the Theotokos. I’m thinking of my time in Tinos today because this is the Feast Day of Chrysanthi’s church, and she invited me to come back and celebrate with her.
From OrthodoxWiki, on the Dormition:
According to Orthodox Tradition, Mary died like all humanity, “falling asleep,” so to speak, as the name of the feast indicates. She died as all people die, not “voluntarily” as her Son, but by the necessity of her mortal human nature which is indivisibly bound up with the corruption of this world. The feast was added to the Roman calendar in the seventh century as the Dormitio. In the eighth century, the title was changed to the Assumptio (Assumption).
The Apostles were miraculously summoned to this event, and all were present except Thomas when Mary passed from this life. She was then buried.
Thomas arrived a few days later, and desiring to see her one more time, convinced the others to open her tomb. Upon doing so, the Apostles discovered that her body was no longer present. This event is seen as a firstfruits of the resurrection of the faithful that will occur at the Second Coming of Christ.
According to Holy Tradition, during her transition to heaven the Theotokos gave her handmade belt to the Apostle Thomas. The belt has had many homes throughout the years, but is currently kept at Vateopedi Monastery on Mt. Athos.
I don’t know if it’s true, but I was told the relic was brought to Chrysanthi’s church one year for the Feast Day. I wonder if it was the actual belt, or one the belts made by the monks and blessed with the original sash and a special prayer. Anyway, I thought I would post a few pictures of the church Chrysanthi built.