Chapter

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199250758.003.0003

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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