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July 03, 2006


Andrew may have seen this icon of the Theotokos of Blachernae from the 7th-century:
There are many pious legends about how "Black madonnas" came to be, the orthodox have various of their own traditions of apparitions of Our Lady, and the one associated with Blachernae became known as The Intercession or Pokrov icon, and churches were built to house them - the most famous perhaps being the colorful onion-tented cathedral in the Kremlin. Her feast celebrated on Oct 1 is one of the most important Russian Orthodox feasts (maybe the most important after the Twelve Great Feasts, carved in many iconostases in their churches). I'm certain JPII was inspired to add the 5 Luminous mysteries to our devotion of the Rosary (celebrated in the month of October in the West) to create more concurrence between the ancient Eastern devotion to the Theotokos:
1. September 8, the Nativity of the Theotokos
2. September 14, the Elevation of the Holy Cross 4th, 5th SORROWFUL MYSTERIES
3. November 21, the Presentation of the Theotokos
4. December 25, the Nativity of Christ 3rd JOYFUL MYSTERY
5. January 6, Epiphany (the Baptism of Christ) 1st LUMINOUS MYSTERY
6. February 2, the Presentation of Christ (candlemas) 4th JOYFUL MYSTERY
7. March 25, the Annunciation 1st JOYFUL MYSTERY
8. Pascha - 7 Palm Sunday 1st, 2nd, 3rd SORROWFUL MYSTERIES
9. Pascha + 40 Ascension 3rd GLORIOUS MYSTERY
10. Pascha + 50 Pentecost 3rd GLORIOUS MYSTERY
11. August 6, the Transfiguration 3rd LUMINOUS MYSTERY
12. August 15, the Dormition of the Theotokos (Assumption) 5th GLORIOUS

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