The Ancient Palestinian Cult of the Virgin and the Early Dormition Traditions

Stephen J. Shoemaker

in Ancient Traditions of the Virgin Mary's Dormition and Assumption

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780199250752
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600746 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

 The Ancient Palestinian Cult of the Virgin and the Early Dormition Traditions

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The earliest centre of Marian cult in Palestine appears to have been an early Nativity shrine known as the Kathisma church, which by the early fifth century had become a focus of Marian piety. Not long thereafter, the traditional site of Mary's tomb just outside the Jerusalem city walls emerged as a second important centre of Mary's veneration. In the early sixth century, a third Marian shrine was added to the Holy City, the Nea church, completed during the emperor Justinian's reign. The earliest feast of Mary in Palestine was 15 August, initially a celebration of Mary's role in the Nativity that eventually developed into a commemoration of her Dormition and/or Assumption. By the seventh century, this festival had expanded to encompass several days in mid‐August, in a stational liturgy that linked together all three of Jerusalem's Marian shrines.

Keywords: 15 August; Jerusalem; Kathisma Church; Mary's Tomb; Nativity; Palestine; stational liturgy; The Nea Church

Chapter.  24647 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Christianity

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