“For when we heard, we realized how wondrous and merciful was the vision... and it transpired that Your holy Protection should not remain without festal celebration, O Ever-Blessed One!” It is in those words that Prince Andrei Bogolyubskiy, whom we read about last week in the context of the Theotokos of Vladimir, greeted the intervention of the Mother of God. In 1164 he established the feast of the “Protection of the Mother of God”.
Among the churches named after the Theotokos of the Protection two are more famous. The first is the Cathedral of Intercession upon a Moat (Russian: Собор Покрова пресвятой Богородицы, что на Рву) in Moscow, popularly known as St. Basil's Cathedral, built in the mid 1500 by Tsar Ivan IV, the Terrible. The second is the Church of the Intercession of Nerl, in Bogolyubovo, near Vladimir (Russian: Церковь Покрова на Нерли), built in 1165 by Prince Andrei Bogolyubskiy.
With the angels, let us rejoice that Mary, Mother of God, is acknowledged and honored around the world. May her holy name be blessed forever!