Une Minute avec Marie
An initiative of the Mary of Nazareth Association

August 31 – Orthodox Feast of the Deposition of the Virgin’s belt in Chalkoprateia

Unification of Europe began under the protection of the Mother of God 

Icon depiction the Theotokos giving her cincture to Thomas the Apostle. Below is a styllized representation of Mary’s Tomb, with flowers lying on the sarcophagus. (Wikipedia)
The Belt of the Mother of God was transferred to Constantinople during the reign of Justinian (about 530), and deposited in the church of Chalkoprateia, which was located not far from Saint Sophia.

Three centuries later, in the 9th century, Emperor Charlemagne who was anointed in the Basilica of Aachen, which he wanted to dedicate to the Mother of God, received with great devotion the relic of the Holy Belt of the Virgin that the Empress of Constantinople gave him. All his life he wore the image of Mary attached to his neck by a golden chain.

When he grew older, he asked to be buried with a statue of the Virgin on his heart. After his death, the Council of Mainz instituted the feast of the Assumption for the entire Frankish Empire. Charlemagne’s empire marked the end of feudalism and the beginning of the unification of Europe that developed with Christianity, under the protection of the Mother of God.

According to the Synaxarion of Constantinople, confirmed by the Imperial Menology