On September 21, Orthodox Christians celebrate one of their main festivals - the Nativity of the Virgin Mary.
According to biblical legend, God's Son decided to adopt man's image and chose for his embodiment the source of purity and holiness, the Virgin Mary, who was to become the mother of Jesus.
Our Lady was born in the Galilean town of Nazareth from the righteous parents of Joakim and Anna who had lived a long life but had had no children, which was considered amid the Jews to be a punishment for sins. But they did not despair and used to pray a lot, promising that if God gave them a child, they would dedicate it to God, that is they would place it at a convent to stay there until coming of age. God responded to their worshipping and granted them a daughter, the Holy Virgin Mary who was honoured with becoming the mother of the Saviour Jesus Christ.
September 21 (September 8, according to the old style of the Julian calendar) is also considered to be the date of the onset of the Russian State (on that day in 862 Ilmen Slavs called Prince Ryurik to govern them). To honour this event, a monument to Russia's millennium was built in Novgorod in 1862.
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