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Life-Giving Spring

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[[Image:Life_Giving_Spring.jpg|thumb|right|An icon of the Panagia the Life Giving Spring, from Messinias (Pilos, Greece).]]
[[Image:Saint Mary Of The Spring.jpg|right|thumb|The [[w:Holy well|Holy well]] (Hagiasma) of [[w:Church of St. Mary of the Spring (Istanbul)|St. Mary of the Source in Istanbul]].]]
[[Image:Procession-Feast of Zoodohos Pigi-Arcadia,Greece-1950s.jpg|thumb|right|Procession on the [[feast day]] of Panagia the Life-giving Font in the village of Kastri, [[w:Arcadia|Arcadia]], Greece, ca.1959, on [[w:Bright Friday|Bright Friday]].]]
[[Image:Saint Mary Of The '''Life-Giving Spring.jpg|right|thumb|The ''' or '''Life-Giving Font''' of the [[w:Holy wellTheotokos|Holy wellMother of God]] (Hagiasmain Greek: Ζωοδόχος Πηγή) is both the [[feast day]] of [[w:Church of St. Mary of the Spring (Istanbul)|St. Mary a historic church]] just west of the Source Constantinople in [[w:Balıklı, Istanbul|Valoukli]], and an icon of the [[Theotokos]]. The present church, built in 1835, bears the same dedication as the shrine erected in this place between the end of the fifth and beginning of the sixth centuries, named from the nearby [[w:Holy well|holy spring]]with [[Panagiaw:Thaumaturgy|wonderworking]] properties. For almost fifteen hundred years, this sanctuary has been one of the most important [[pilgrimage]] sites of Greek Orthodoxy.<ref name="JANIN">Raymond Janin (in French). ''La Géographie ecclésiastique de l'Life-Giving Spring''' or Empire byzantin. 1. Part: Le Siège de Constantinople et le Patriarcat Oecuménique. 3rd Vol.: Les Églises et les Monastères.''Paris: Institut Français d'Etudes Byzantines. 1953. p.232-33.</ref> The Life-Giving FontSpring ''[[Icon]]'' (in Greek: Ζωοδόχος Πηγή) of the Most Holy [[Theotokos]] is both commemorated by the [[Orthodox Church]] on [[April 4]]. The [[feast day]] of the Life-Giving Spring itself is commemorated on [[w:Church Easter Friday|Bright Friday]] of Steach year (the Friday following [[Pascha]]), being the only feast day which may be celebrated during [[Bright Week]]. Mary  ==Revelation of the Life-Giving Spring ==There are two accounts extant concerning the revelation of the Life-Giving Font.<br> '''Procopius'''<br> The first is recorded by the prominent Byzantine scholar [[w:Procopius|Procopius of Caesarea]] (Istanbulflourishing ca.500-565).<ref group="note">The 11th century Byzantine historian [[w:George Kedrenos|George Cedrenus]] also mentions this version.</ref> In this version, the Emperor [[Justinian]] was out hunting when he came upon a historic churchsmall [[chapel]] just west in a beautiful wooded area, surrounded by a large crowd of people and a priest in front of a spring. Inquiring about this site, he was told that this was the “source of miracles”. He at once ordered that a magnificent church be built there, utilizing materials that had remained after the erection of the [[Hagia Sophia (Constantinople )|Hagia Sophia]].<ref name="JANIN"/> The church was erected in the last years of his reign, ca.559-560, near the holy spring.<ref group="note">In this context, "Holy Spring/Holy Font/Holy Source" becomes synonymous with the Greek: ἁγίασμα, ''hagiasma''; Lit.: 'sanctuary'.</ref> After the erection of the sanctuary, the Gate that was situated outside the [[w:BalıklıWalls_of_Constantinople#Theodosian_Walls|walls of Theodosius II]] was named by the Byzantines ''Gate of the Spring'' (Greek: Πύλη τῆς Πηγῆς).<ref>Wolfgang Müller-Wiener (in German). ''Bildlexikon zur Topographie Istanbuls: Byzantion, Konstantinupolis, Istanbulbis zum Beginn d. 17 Jh..'' Tübingen: Wasmuth, 1977. pp.416.</ref> It is possible that before the Justinian's building was erected, a small monastery dedicated to the [[Theotokos]] had already existed there from early times. '''Nicephorus Callistus'''<br> A second account is given by [[w:Nikephoros Kallistos Xanthopoulos|ValoukliNikephoros Kallistos Xanthopoulos]], and an icon the last of the Greek ecclesiastical historians, who flourished around 1320. This tradition begins with a miracle that occurred involving a soldier named Leo Marcellus, who would later become the Byzantine Emperor [[TheotokosLeo I (emperor)|Leo I the Thracian]] (457-474). While Leo was on his way to Constantinople he encountered a blind man near the [[w:Walls_of_Constantinople#Golden_Gate_and_the_Yedikule_Fortress|Golden Gate]] who was thirsty. Though he agreed to search for water, he was unable to find any. A female voice was then heard who told the future Emperor that there was water nearby. Looking about, he could see no one, and neither could he see any water. Then he heard the voice again::"Emperor Leo, go into the deepest part of the woods, and you will find water there. Take some of the cloudy water in your hands and give it to the blind man to drink. Then take the clay and put it on his eyes. Then you shall know who I am."<ref name="OCA">OCA - Feasts and Saints. [http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsLife.asp?FSID=32 Bright Friday. The Life Giving Spring of the Mother of God].</ref>The same voice added that she had chosen that very place to be worshiped and prophesied that he would one day receive the crown to the empire. Leo followed her order and at once the blind man recovered his eyesight. After his accession to the throne, the Emperor erected a magnificent church on this place, and the water continued to work miraculous cures. Therefore, it was called "The Life-Giving Spring."  ==Vicissitudes of the Church==In its history, the fountain had been destroyed and then rebuilt on many occasions, at the request of the Virgin Mother. In the 15th century, the city of Constantinople fell into the hands of the Muslims. The [[w:Church of St. Maryof the Spring (Istanbul) which is venerated by |Church of the Orthodox ChurchLife-giving Spring]] was destroyed, commemorated on and its building materials were used to construct the [[Bright Weekw:Bayezid II Mosque|Bright FridayBayezid II Mosque]] for the Sultan. The church site was covered with earth and crushed stone, so that the very foundations of the church disappeared from sight. The beautiful surrounding areas were turned into a Muslim cemetery. A Turkish sentinel, placed at the ruins of each yearthe church, forbade Christians not only to gather at the site, but even to approach there.  Little by little, the strictness of this ban eased, and Christians were permitted to build a small church there. Twenty-five steps led down into the chapel, which had a window in the roof to let the light in. The holy Spring was still there, surrounded by a railing. However after the Greek War of Independence in 1821, even this little chapel was destroyed, and the Spring was buried under the rubble.
==Story ==The image in Once again Christians cleaned up the icon includes ruins, reopened the [[Virgin Mary]] with her child standing within a stone chalice that presumably represents the living spring, and once again drew water which is Christfrom it. This "living water" is contained in Even upon these shards of the former magnificent holy structure, the cross which all who follow him must bear Theotokos, as he didbefore, granted hearings through her grace. In the early ChurchLater, among the baptismal font was actually broken pieces in the form one of a cross just like the cross of this icon and the Christians would enter in from the base of the cross and come out at the topwindows was found, and then realready half-enter from the left of the cross rotted away through time and come out dampness, a panel on which were recorded ten miracles which occurred at the right of Life-giving Spring during the cross; then the priest, who would be standing in the middle of the cross/baptismal font, would commune themperiod 1824-1829.
During the reign of Emperor Sultan [[Marcianw:Mahmud II|Mahmoud II]] (d, the Orthodox received a measure of freedom to conduct religious services. 457)They used it to erect, for the third time, a blind man had lost his way and church above the famous warriorLife-giving Spring, Leo Marcelluswith work beginning in July of 1833. While workmen were clearing the ground, passing by, helped himthey uncovered the foundations of the earlier church. As he went The Sultan allowed them to search for some water to refresh the exhausted manbuild not just a chapel, he heard but a voice directing him to new and beautiful church on the foundations of the springold one. Construction began on September 14, 1833, and was completed on December 30, 1834.
In On February 2, 1835, with great pomp, the Ecumenical Patriarch [[Constantius II of Constantinople|Constantine]], sometime in celebrating with 20 bishops and an enormous flood of the 5th centuryfaithful, there was a garden that was dedicated to the Virgin Mother [[Consecration of God. In the garden was a spring and it was well-known for its miracles. In its history, church|consecrated the fountain had been destroyed and then rebuilt on many occasionschurch]] which stands to this day, at the request of dedicating it to the Virgin MotherMost Holy [[Theotokos]].
In Nearby was built a hospital and alms-house. Even the 15th century, the city Muslims spoke with great respect of Constantinople fell into the hands Life-giving Spring, and of the Muslims. The [[w:Church of StTheotokos]], who through it pours out her grace-filled power. "Great among women Holy Mary of " is how they refer to the Spring (Istanbul)|Church of Most Holy Virgin. The water from the Life-giving Spring]] was destroyed, and its building materials were used to construct a mosque for Sultan Bayazet. The church site was covered with earth and crushed stone, so that they call the very foundations "water of the church disappeared from sight. The beautiful surrounding areas were turned into a Muslim cemetery. A Turkish sentinel, placed at the ruins of the church, forbade Christians not only to gather at the site, but even to approach thereHoly Mary. "
Little by littleOn September 6, 1955, the strictness of this ban eased, and Christians were permitted to build a small church there. However, in 1821, it was destroyed as well, and again during the spring itself was filled in[[w:Istanbul Pogrom|Istanbul Pogrom]]. Once again Christians cleaned up Another small chapel has been rebuilt on the ruinssite, reopened the spring, and once again drew water from it. Even upon these shards of but the church has not yet been restored to its former magnificent holy structure, the Theotokos, as before, granted hearings through her gracesize. Later, among the broken pieces in one of the windows was found, already half-rotted away through time The spring still flows to this day and dampness, a panel on which were recorded ten miracles which occurred at is considered by the Life-giving Spring during the period 1824-1829faithful to have [[w:Thaumaturgy|wonderworking]] properties.
During the reign of Sultan Mahmoud, the Orthodox received a measure of freedom to conduct religious services. They used it to erect, for the third time, [[w:Church of St. Mary of the Spring (Istanbul)|a church above the Life-giving Spring]]. In 1835, with great pomp, the Ecumenical Patriarch [[Constantius II of Constantinople|Constantine]], celebrating with 20 bishops and an enormous flood of the faithful, [[Consecration of a church|consecrated the church]] which stands to this day. Nearby was built a hospital and alms-house. Even the Muslims spoke with great respect of the Life-giving Spring, and of the [[Theotokos]], who through it pours out her grace-filled power. "Great among women Holy Mary" is how they refer to the Most Holy Virgin. The water from the Life-giving Spring they call the "water of Holy Mary."
<!---
The fish in this pool, it is said, are descended from the fishes that miraculously jumped out of the frying-pan and into this spring ... (NOTE - research to find this story in more detail).
--->
 
==The Icon==
The image in the icon includes the [[Virgin Mary]] with her child standing within a stone chalice that presumably represents the living water which is Christ. This "living water" is contained in the cross which all who follow him must bear as he did. In the early Church, the baptismal font was actually in the form of a cross just like the cross of this icon and the Christians would enter in from the base of the cross and come out at the top, and then re-enter from the left of the cross and come out on the right of the cross; then the priest, who would be standing in the middle of the cross/baptismal font, would commune them.
==Churches==
==Hymn==
In Orthodox hymnography, the ''Theotokos'' is frequently compared with a ''Holy Fountain''. The hymns and prayers of the feast are combined with the Paschal hymns, and there is often a Lesser Blessing of Waters performed after the [[KontakionDivine Liturgy]] (on [[Tonew:Easter Friday|Bright Friday]] 8) [http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsLife.asp?FSID=32]
[[Kontakion]] ([[Tone]] 8)<ref name="OCA"/>
:O most favored by God,
:You confer on me the healing of your grace from your inexhaustible Spring.
*[[Panagia Blachernitissa]]
*[[Life-giving Fount of the Theotokos]]
 
==Notes==
<references group="note" />
 
==References==
<div><references/></div>
==External links==
*[http://www.mgr.org/TheVeil.html The Miracle of The Veil] in Constantinople 911 AD.
*[http://www.orthodox.net/questions/bright_week_1.html#a5 Question 5. "What feast is celebrated Bright Friday?"], St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Dallas Texas.
'''Greek Wikipedia'''
*[http://el.wikipedia.org/wiki/%CE%96%CF%89%CE%BF%CE%B4%CF%8C%CF%87%CE%BF%CF%82_%CE%A0%CE%B7%CE%B3%CE%AE_%CF%84%CE%BF%CF%85_%CE%9C%CF%80%CE%B1%CE%BB%CE%BF%CF%85%CE%BA%CE%BB%CE%AE Ζωοδόχος Πηγή του Μπαλουκλή]
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