My beloved spiritual children in Our Risen Lord and Our Only True God,
CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN!
BRIGHT FRIDAY: THE FEAST OF THE LIFE-GIVING SPRING OF THE THEOTOKOS AND EVER-VIRGIN MARY
Η Ζωοδόχος Πηγή
On Bright (Diakainisimos) Friday our Holy Orthodox Church celebrates the feast-day of the Life-Giving Spring of the Theotokos (Η Ζωοδόχος Πηγή). This holy day is referred to as a "movable" holy day of the ecclesiastical calendar.
"Movable" holy days are the days of the Triodion and of the Pentecostarion, which have as their center the day of Pascha. The Triodion (10 weeks or 70 days) prior the Sunday of Pascha, while the Pentecostarion (7 weeks or 50 days) following the celebration of the Resurrection on Sunday of Pascha.
The Life-Giving Spring feast is another special holy day in honor of the Panagia (All-Holy Mother of God). It is not connected to her life as many other Theometorikes (holy days that are strictly dedicated to the Mother of God) i.e., Entrance to the Temple, Annunciation, Dormition. The Life-Giving Spring holy day reminds us of the numerous miracles of the Ever-Virgin Mary at a specific church.
About 1500 years ago at some rural place of Constantinople, a deserted road, a distraught and unfortunate man called out "please help me!" No one, however, listen to his cry for help and no one paid attention to him. Someone, though, who was passing that way, and was compassionate, and who had a heart filled with love heard his plea and searched to find him and to help him. When he did locate this poor man, he saw that he was in a deplorable condition.
He was blind and he lived there. Someone had taken him at that deserted location and he was abandoned there. The blind man was without food or water for days. The compassionate man, who found him, took him by the hand and guided him. The blind man told him, "I have been days without water, please give me water to drink." The stranger searched everywhere for water, including the forest nearby but could not find any. Then suddenly he heard a mysterious voice who said to him, "The water is near you, walk a little further and you will find it." Obedient to the mysterious voice he looked everywhere in the forest but found nothing. He hears the voice again telling him not to give up and go forth and he will find it. He continued his search for water and finally he discovered a spring of cool and sparkling water. He immediately gave water to the thirsty man who was most grateful and glad.
Suddenly he heard the strange voice again that asked him to "wash his blind eyes with that water." Then, the voice tells him, you will learn who I am, and that I reside here for many years." The man, as the voice commanded him to do, washed the blind eyes of this wretched man, and immediately the man could see. His eyes were restored by the Mother of God and in this way she revealed also her Life-Giving Spring.
But who was that compassionate man? He was an unknown person and without any importance in the Roman Empire. He was a simple, humble man and a butcher by trade. He was Leon. Leon who? He would become the next Emperor Leon Ist (457-474 A.D.) of Byzantium. He was a great emperor and a good and meek man.
The Emperor never forgot the episode and miracle of the Theotokos and he went to the place of the Life-Giving Spring of the Mother of God and erected a huge church in honor of the Ever-Virgin Mary and her miraculous spring. In other words he erected this beautiful church over the Life-Giving Spring. And under the church, the sparkling spring of water continued to heal and produce many miracles.
At this same location, known as Baloukli, thousands of pilgrims visit from all over the Empire. Even Turkish men and women went to the church and took the holy water and were healed of their illness.
The church of the Life-Giving Spring or Font was demolished from its foundations and was restored by pious Byzantine Emperors such as the great Justinian. However, in 1955 phanatic Turks pillaged and defiled the church.
This is a historic Orthodox Church which has survived till now by the grace of God and the holy intercessions of the Mother of God. (Source: Metropolitan Avgoustinos N. Kantiotis - Florina, Greece)
Divine Services on Bright Friday:
Orthros (Matins) 9:00 a.m.
Divine Liturgy at 10:00 a.m.
"Glory Be To GOD For All Things!"
With sincere agape in Our Risen Lord and God,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God