"Then afterward I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions." Joel 2:28 (quoted by Peter following the Descent of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:17)
Hear Bishop Kurt's message (here) for the Sunday of All Saints provided by God With Us Online and how the Holy Spirit at Pentecost prepares us to be Saints.
Today the Virgin is present in the Church And with the choirs of saints, Invisibly prays to God for us.
The angels worship with the hierarchs,
The apostles rejoice with the prophets;
Because the Theotokos prays for us to the eternal God.
Origin of Icon
On Sunday, October 1 of the year 911, St. Andrew the Fool for Christ and his disciple Epiphanius had a vision in the Church of the Blachernae in Constantinople. The Mother of God escorted by St. John the Forerunner and St. John the Beloved Disciple entered into the Church. She stopped at the ambo where she knelt and prayed fervently. She then proceeded to the altar where she prayed again, then removed her veil and spread it out as a sign of protection of the City.
Description of this Pokrov Icon
This exquisite antique icon is in the Heritage Center of the Eparchy of Passaic. The Mother of God is in the center of the icon with her veil spread out as a symbol of her motherly protection of the city, and her arms raised in the “orans” posture, the prayer posture of the early Christians. Above her is Jesus Christ blessing with his right hand and holding a book in his left hand.
Starting from the center of the icon and moving outwards to our left, in the middle row, St. Michael the Archangel is closest to the Theotokos, then St. John the Forerunner (the Baptizer), then St. Peter the Apostle, St. Paul the Apostle. Above St. Michael is St. Uriel the Archangel, and next to him is St. Basil the Great, then St. Gregory the Theologian, and St. John Chrysostom (not the usual portrayal of him).
Starting from the center of the icon and moving outwards to our right, in the middle row are St. Gabriel the Archangel, St. John the Theologian (the Evangelist and Beloved Disciple), St. James the Apostle, and the Holy Prophet Elijah. Above St. Gabriel is St. Barachiel the Archangel, then the Monks St. Zosimus, St. Savvaty, and St. Sergei.
On the bottom row, St. Romanos the Melodist is in the center of the icon. Moving outwards to our left, the one closest to St. Romanos is the Patriarch St. Gennadius, then Emperor Leo the Wise and his wife Zoë.
Moving in the other direction from the center next to St. Romanos is St. Andrew the Fool for Christ pointing to the Theotokos for the benefit of St. Epiphanios his disciple. Finally, in the lower corner of the icon is the Mother of God appearing to St. Romanos while he was asleep, bringing him healing and his vocation as a songwriter.