The Placing of the Honorable Robe of the Lord at Moscow (+March 29, 1625)
Commemorated July 10th
Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
At the time of the suffering of our Lord Jesus for mankind, there was to be found among the ranks of the Roman army in Jerusalem a Georgian named Elioz from the town of Mtskheta. His mother had heard of Christ and, in her heart, believed in Him. Seeing her son off to the army in Palestine, she counseled him not to do anything against Christ. When the Lord was nailed to the Cross, the sound of the hammer on Golgotha reached the ears of Elioz’s mother in the town of Mtskheta. Hearing this sound, she cried out: “Woe is me because I did not die before this time. Death would have rescued me from this dreadful sound!” Saying this, she fell dead. Elioz, at that time, was beneath the Cross and with the other soldiers cast lots for the tunic [robe] of Christ. He won the vesture and brought it to Mtskheta and gave it as a gift to his sister Sidonia. She, having heard about the death of the Lord and that her brother was a participant of the shedding of innocent blood, fell dead holding the tunic of the Lord firmly in her hands and no one was able to tear it away but were compelled to bury the tunic with her. A cedar tree sprouted from her grave from which poured forth a sweet-smelling healing myrrh. In time, the cedar tree fell and the place was forgotten. Following her prayer, St. Nina, found this place with the help of a pillar of fire. The baptized Emperor Mirian erected a church there dedicating it to the Holy Apostles. In the year 1625 A.D., the Shah Abbas took this tunic and sent it to Moscow as a gift to Prince Michael Feodorovitch and Patriarch Philaret. This tunic was placed in the Cathedral Church of the Dormition [Assumption] of the Blessed Virgin in Moscow.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič for Old Calendar date July 10, and New Calendar date July 23.
The Placing of the Precious Robe of Our Lord Jesus Christ at Moscow (1625): The Savior’s precious Robe [Greek “himatia”, literally “over-garments”] is not identically the same thing as His seamless coat [Greek “khiton”, literally “under-garb tunic”]. They are clearly distinct within Holy Scripture. “Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments (ta himatia) and divided them into four parts, to every soldier a part, and the coat (kai ton khitona). Now the coat was without seam, woven whole from the top down. Therefore, they said among themselves, let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it will become. Thus the saying in Scripture was fulfilled: they divided My raiment (ta imatia) among them, and upon My vesture (epi ton himatismon) did they cast lots” (John. 19: 23-24; Ps. 21 : 18-19).
Apolytikion of the Deposition of the Precious Robe of Christ in Moscow in the Fourth Tone
On this day let us the faithful run to the divine and healing robe of our Saviour and God, Who was pleased to wear our flesh and pour out His holy Blood on the Cross, whereby He hath redeemed us from slavery to the enemy. Wherefore, we thankfully cry to Him: By Thy precious robe save and defend Orthodox Christians, and bishops, and cities, and all men everywhere, and save our souls, for Thou art the Friend of man.
Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Thou hast bestowed upon all men, O Master, Thy precious robe as a divine treasure, as a garment of incorruption, healing, and salvation, for thereby wast Thou pleased to clothe the holy and life-giving flesh of Thine Incarnation. Receiving this relic with faith, we joyfully celebrate this glorious occasion, and praising Thee with fear and love as our Benefactor, we cry to Thee, O Christ: In Thy great mercy, keep Orthodox Christians and their pastors and all Thy people in peace.
(taken from: http://www.goarch.org/chapel/saints/2346)
Troparion Saint Nina, Equal of the Apostles and Enlightener of Iberia, Tone IV
O Holy Nina, equal of the apostles, minister of the word of God, who emulated the first called Andrew and the other apostles in apostolic preaching, enlightener of Iberia and harp of the Holy Spirit: entreat Christ God, that our souls be saved.