285,000 Moscovites que up in the cold to view the Precious Sash of “Our Most Holy Lady Theotokos”

Reliquary of the Precious Sash

Such is the excitement and fuss the Cincture of the Virgin Mary has generated on its first trip out of Greece in 200 years. The faithful believe it clung to the waist of the Virgin Mary and thousands have flocked to Moscow to see it on its grand tour.

According to tradition Mary was buried wearing the belt but disappeared thereafter. She then reappeared to the apostle Thomas, who had missed the funeral, and she gave him her camel hair belt.

It then traveled to Constantinople, years later, where the Empress Zoe, wife of the Emperor Leo VI embroidered it with gold thread and divided it into three sections.

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Voices from Russia (with photos)

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Washington Post Slide Show

Editor’s note: It seems as though “Doubting Thomas” was always in need of some additional “proof”. And he always got it! Meanwhile, back in the good old USA, millions jostle for position at various “Black Friday” sales venues.