The word "dormition" in the Old Russian language meant falling asleep or death. On August 7 (old style - June 25), the Orthodox Church annually celebrates the Dormition of the righteous Anna, the mother of the Most Holy Theotokos. On this day, believers honor the blood ancestors of Jesus Christ, childless women ask to give them children. According to legend, Anna miraculously gave birth to her daughter in old age, since then she has become the patroness of future mothers.
According to the early Christian apocrypha, Anna was the daughter of the priest Matthan. She was married to Joachim and suffered from childlessness until her very old age, but she continued to believe and pray. In those days, the absence of children from the spouses was considered a great grief and shame, therefore, once the future father of the Mother of God, the church did not accept gifts for the sacred holiday.
Joachim withdrew to a desolate place and day and night prayed to God for the gift of a child. Anna asked heaven for the same. The passionate prayer of two patient and loving people was heard. According to legend, an Angel appeared to the spouses and announced the imminent birth of their blessed child. The husband and wife met in Jerusalem, and soon they had a daughter, Mary.
Until the age of three, Anna raised the child on her own, then gave him to the church. At the age of 79, she died peacefully in Jerusalem, not having lived to see the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary. During the reign of King Justinian I (527-565), a temple was built in Devter in her honor. It is believed that since then the saint began to appear to pregnant women and to promote the birth of healthy children. Justinian II, whose wife witnessed this miracle, renovated Anna's temple. Later, her relics and veil (maforium) were transported to Constantinople.
On the day of the Assumption of righteous Anna, Orthodox Christians remember the miracle of faith, patience and hope that this woman showed herself, despite the long-term grief of childless loneliness. Priests remind parishioners that Jesus Christ commanded patience as the salvation of the soul; only unlimited hope can become a guarantee of eternal joy in the Savior.
On August 7, the Exaltation of the Assumption of Righteous Anna is held in Orthodox churches. It is advisable to devote this day to the church in which you need to receive communion. You can do only urgent matters, the rest can be postponed for another day - the patronal feast implies idleness, that is, withdrawal from the everyday fuss.
If you cannot visit the prayer house, recite the troparion or kontakion of the righteous Anna at home. It is believed that turning to a righteous woman on the day of her Assumption helps childless families find long-awaited joy. However, prayer must be imbued with sincere repentance and deep faith.
On the Day of the Assumption of the Mother of the Theotokos, Orthodox Christians can visit the skete of the righteous Anna. Such spiritual tourism is developed in Ukraine - on August 7, many believers from different countries visit the healing spring named after the saint in the village of Onishkivtsi (the junction of the Ternopil and Rivne regions). Orthodox Christians can pray in the skete, plunge into the sacred lake and share the joy of the patronal feast with the nuns of the local St. Nicholas Gorodok nunnery. According to legend, an icon of St. Anna once appeared on the site of the overflowing lake, then a spring came here. According to pilgrims, he is able to heal diseases and cure infertility. On the day of the Assumption of Anna, pupils of the Ukrainian dioceses sing spiritual songs near the lake.
August 7 in the national calendar is called "the day of Anna Zimopozatelnitsa" (Anna-Kholodnitsa). He reminds of imminent bad weather, predicts the nature of the upcoming winter. In the old days, it was believed: if the night is fresh, the cold will come early, and the winter months will be cold. There is a saying: “What is Anna before lunch - such is the winter until December; what is after lunch - such is the winter after December. "By the way, the Day of the Assumption of the Mother of the Virgin coincides with the name days of all female representatives with the name Anna.