1. The Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God.
The holy Virgin Mary was born of her aged parents, Joachim and Anna. Her father was of the tribe of David and her mother of the tribe of Aaron, and so she was of royal blood from her father and priestly blood from her mother. By this, she foreshadowed Him who would be born of her as King and High Priest. Her parents were already old and had no children, and, because of this, were ashamed before men and humble before God. In their humility, they prayed with tears that God would bring joy to their old age with the gift of a child, as He had once given joy to the aged Abraham and Sarah, giving them their son Isaac. God, almighty and all-seeing, gave them a joy far exceeding all their expectations and their wildest dreams, for He gave them not just a daughter, but the Mother of God; He illumined them not only with temporal joy but with eternal. God gave them just one daughter, who later gave them just one grandson - but what a daughter and what a grandson! Mary full of grace, blessed among women, the temple of the Holy Spirit, altar of the living God, table of living bread, ark of God's holy things, tree of the most delicious fruits, glory of the human race, praise of womanhood, fount of virginity and purity - this was the daughter given by God to Joachim and Anna. Born in Nazareth, she was after three years taken to the Temple in Jerusalem, whence she returned again to Nazareth and shortly afterwards heard the tidings of the holy Archangel Gabriel concerning the birth of the Son of God, the Saviour of the world, from her most pure and virginal body.
2. The Feast of the Kalishto Icon of the Holy Mother of God.
In the monastery of the most holy Mother of God near the village of Kalishto, to the west of Struga, the holy Mother of God revealed her power and mercy through numerous miracles. Many of the sick were miraculously healed, and robbers that intended plundering or desecrating the monastery were fiercely punished by an unseen power. The miraculous icon of the most holy Mother of God stands in the church, and nearby are two healing springs - of St Peter and St Ananias. Not far from the main church, in a cave, stands the chapel of St Athanasius.
3. The Feast of the Pochaev Icon of the Holy Mother of God.
In the province of Volinsk there stands the famous monastery of the Mother of God in Pochaev, where she first appeared in about 1340 to two monks who were living the ascetic life in a cave. From that time, the place became an inexhaustible fount of innumerable miracles.