On October 14 (New Calendar), the Russian Orthodox Church solemnly celebrates the feast of the Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos, which commemorates the vision of the Holy Virgin in the church of Blachernae, in the mid-10th century, during an All-Night Vigil, during which the faithful were imploring the aid of the Mother of God during a siege from pagan tribes of the ancestors of the Russians.
Pious Russians regard this event as the beginning of their salvation from paganism, as the pagans were defeated in their siege of Constantinople, as the Holy Virgin extended her omophorion over the people, signaling her Protection of the faithful, thus thwarting the intentions of the barbarians to conquer the capital of the Roman Empire. This in itself expresses a very Christian virtue, when one accepts with humility the will of God which is always to save all those who repent of their errors.
Soon after this event, the rulers of Kievan “Rus’” turned to Christianity, and this commemoration came to be one of the major feast days of the Russian Church.
On this feast, His Grace, Bishop Luke, abbot of the monastery, served the Divine Liturgy together with the monastery clergy. One of the most revered relics of the monastery is a piece of the cinture of the Theotokos, which is contained in the icon of the Protection of the Mother of God.