July 9, 2019

Commemoration of the Consecration of the Church of the Theotokos of the Life-Giving Spring in Constantinople

Consecration of the Church of the Zoodochos Pege (Feast Day - July 9)

The Roman Emperor Leo I (457-474) erected a magnificent church outside the imperial city of Constantinople, near the Golden Gate, dedicated to the Theotokos, having witnessing a miraculous cure by the Theotokos of a blind man receiving back his sight after drinking from a spring there. This shrine became a source of many miracles.

The historians Procopius and Cedrenus state that Emperor Justinian erected a new church, larger than the first, in the last years of his reign (559 or 560), utilizing materials that had remained after the erection of the Hagia Sophia. After the erection of the sanctuary, the Romans named the Gate that was situated outside the walls of Theodosius II "Gate of the Spring". The shrine later became known as the Church of the Life-Giving Spring, or Zoodochos Pege.

The consecration we commemorate today, July 9th, is likely that of church erected by Justinian in the mid-6th century, though the church was destroyed and rebuilt many times, so it could refer to another. Other consecrations it could refer to could date to the time of Empress Irene the Athenian, Emperor Basil the Macedonian, and Emperor Romanos I Lekapenos. Another consecration took place in the 15th century, as well as the 19th century for the church that stands there today.