Establishment of the First Church Dedicated to St. Virgin Mary

June 27/2014
By Kassa Nigus
According to Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church, there are 33 prescribed feasts of St. Virgin Mary, among these one is the day when the Apostles assembled, and her Son Jesus Christ came to build the first church of St. Virgin Mary on  27 June/Sene 20  in Philip.
Four years after the ascension of our perpetual Lady Virgin Mary, St. Paul and St. Barnabas were preaching the Gospel in Philippi. The dwellers of the city believed in God and got baptism. Paul and Barnabas urged them not to go back to temples where idols were worshipped. This provoked the dwellers of Philippi to ask the Apostles to build a church for them in their city.
Paul and Barnabas then sent a message to their fellow Apostles St. Peter and St. John the Christian’s wish to get a church. Peter and John replied that they should pray and ask for the Will of Christ before establishing the church. And they prayed for days. After they finished their prayer, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ carried all the Apostles in clouds and gathered them in Philippi. On this day, St. John asked the Lord why He gathered them there, and the Lord told them that He want to teach them the ritual for building church  dedicated to St. Virgin Mary as it is His will to erect such churches all over the world. 
Then, He took the apostles eastwards and miraculously gathered three rocks which were located far apart from one another. He set the length and width of the rocks and gave them for the apostles to build the church. They twisted and bended the rocks like a wax melting in the face of fire and built a temple with 24 yards of length and 12 yards of width. He then told them to build churches following the tradition and then ascended to heaven. On the next day, He celebrated the Holy Mass with the Apostles and gave them His Holy Flesh and Blood making St. Virgin Mary the bearer of the Holy Communion and designating Himself chief priest and St. Peter and St. Stephen assistant priest and chief deacon respectively. He then placed His hand on Peter’s head and ordained him to be patriarch. The apostles and heavenly angels praised the Lord in unison for all His blessings. (All this took place in 53 AD.)     
                 May her prayer and intercession be upon us!! 
  Source:  Translated (June 2006 E.C) from the book: 
• Te’amre Maryam: Ge’ezna Amargna  (Miracle of St. Mary: Ge’ez and Amharic) 1989 E.C.
• Mezgebe Tarik by Hiruy  Ermyas, 2001 E.C.