DID YOU KNOW?:
That August 1 through August 14 is the period of fast for the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos?
According to Byzantine custom, flowers and medicinal herbs are bless on the day of the Feast, August 15th. This custom originated from the traditional belief that after Our Lady's assumption into Heaven, her tomb was "filled with a Heavenly fragrance and flowers."(1) Herbs, used by the people as natural medicine are blessed in commemoration of the numerous healings and extra-ordinary graces bestowed on pilgrims at Mary's tomb.(2) Thus, the tradition of blessing flowers and herbs on the Feast of the Dormition allows Our Lady's "graces to be poured out in every place throughout the world."(3) **
(1) cf. St. Germanus, I Hom. On Dorm
(2) cf.St. John Damascene, Hom. On Dorm I, 13
(3) cf. Hom. on Dorm II, 19
** Excerpts taken from the pamphlet "The Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God according to the Byzantine Rite.
FOR YOUR MEDITATION
The Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God, celebrated on Tuesday, August 15, was developed in the East beginning in the fourth century from the early celebration of Christmas in which the Theotokos (the title of "the Mother of God" proclaimed at the council of Ephesus in 431) was venerated because of her divine Motherhood. In the sixth century, following the erection of a basilica over the tomb of Mary in Jerusalem, this celebration took on a new meaning and became the solemn celebration of her death and assumption into Heaven. The Roman Church later changed the name of the feast to the Assumption of Mary into Heaven. **