The program on the Patron Saint’s Day of Chisinau starts with the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom that is held to celebrate the Protection of the Mother of God. The service at the Metropolitan Cathedral starts at 8:30am and will be officiated by His Holiness Vladimir, the Metropolitan Bishop of Chisinau and all Moldova.
After the religious ceremony, parishioners will go round the cathedral and a Te-Deum will be then held. Afterward, the Metropolitan Bishop will address the faithful with a speech.
Vadim Cheibaș, secretary of the Metropolitan Church of Moldova, confirmed for IPN that this year the faithful will have access to the Cathedral during the service on condition that they wear a face mask and maintain social distancing.
As to the importance of the feast day, Vadim Cheibaș said the Protection of the Mother of God is one of the Marian days. It celebrates the appearance of the Mother of God at Blachernae (Vlaherna) in the tenth century. At the end of St. Andrei (Andrew of Constantinople) Yurodivyi's life, he, with his disciple St. Epiphanius, and a group of people, saw the Mother of God, St. John the Baptist, and several other saints and angels during a vigil in the Church of Blachernae, nearby the city gates. The Theotokos approached the center of the church, knelt down and remained in prayer for a long time. Her face was drowned in tears. Then she took her veil (cerement) off and spread it over the people as a sign of protection. During the time, the people in the city were threatened by a barbarian invasion. After the appearance of the Mother of God, the danger was averted and the city was spared from bloodshed and suffering.
The Patron Saint’s Day of Chisinau started to be observed on October 14 in 2001. Until then this day was celebrated on the second Sunday in October, without being connected to the feast day of the Protection of the Mother of God.
On this day, a number of localities in Moldova celebrate their patron saint’s day. Among these are the municipality of Bender and the towns of Briceni, Florești, Rezina and Vulcănești.