The Protection of the Mother of God (Pokrov [Покров] in Russian or Skepi [Σκέπη] in Greek) is a feast day celebrating the appearance of the Mother of God at Blachernae (Vlaherna) in the tenth century. The Blachernae Palace church was where several of her relics were kept. The relics were her robe, veil, and part of her belt that had been transferred from Palestine during the fifth century.
The Theotokos (birth-giver of God) approached the center of the church, knelt down and remained in prayer for a long time while tears streamed down her face. Then she took off her veil and spread it over the people as a sign of protection. After her appearance, the danger from a barabrian invasion was averted and the city was spared from bloodshed and suffering.
Aside from its historical significance, this feast offers us an opportunity to meditate (prayer of the mind) on the following:
Do I truly understand the role of Mary in the life of Christ and His Church?
Do I desire her protection?
Do I truly seek her love?
Do I pray for her intercession?