Our Lady of the Day (June 15) – OUR LADY OF THE EARS [of wheat] (NOSTRA SIGNORA DELLE SPIGHE), Syriac Church

According to an apocryphal text left by Mary, Most Holy, after her assumption to the apostles, she asked for the institution of 3 feasts which see her as protector of the crops of wheat and wine, essential elements for the Eucharistic celebration.

Not having a specific image, it is taken as a reference: “Our Lady of the Three Ears” (referring botanically to the ears of wheat).

In addition to the normal cycle of Marian festivals, the Syrian-speaking Churches, that is to say the Syrian-Western, the Syrian-Eastern and the Maronite, have a certain cycle of festivals of the East and West of agricultural origin, celebrated on the 15th of January, May, June and August according to the following calendar:

January 15: Our Lady of Sowing

June 15: Our Lady of the Ears

August 15: Our Lady of the Vineyards.

These three feasts are reported for the first time in the Syriac version of the apocryphal “Transitus Mariae” (the Transition of Mary).

St. Gregory of Narek, the new Doctor of the Church, a 10th century Armenian monk, was an extraordinary mystic of the Armenian Church.

According to this document, the Apostles themselves instituted these feasts on the express order of Mary just before her ascension into Heaven. In these celebrations the seasonal and agricultural character of the chosen dates shines through. The liturgical texts echo this tradition, and highlight the cosmic dimension of the economy of Salvation, the people’s dependence on the seasons and nature. This dependence becomes a source of spiritual communion in the light of Mary’s virginity and divine motherhood; as well as an absolutely unique way of highlighting the Eucharistic role that the ancient Eastern tradition reserves for Mary.



Holy Mother of Narek – He painted themes that reflect Armenian history                    (image taken from: http://armenianpainters.blogspot.it/2012_04_01_archive.html)

The following hymn, taken from the Chaldean liturgy, briefly expresses these concepts:

“The whole land of Ephesus was sprinkled with dew when St. John delivered an epistle of the Virgin Mary, in which it was prescribed that the commemoration of the Blessed Virgin would be three times a year: in December for seeds, in May for ears and in August for the vineyards: elements from which the material of the Sacrament of the Eucharist is obtained. In fact, Mary protects wheat seeds from earthly corruption in December and, when they are grown and ripe, in May she protects them from insects and makes them water from the rain, because with this wheat the bread for the Eucharist is prepared; in the month of August, then, on the feast of her Assumption to Heaven, she blesses the vineyards because the wine is produced from them which, with bread, is used for the Sacrifice of the Mass.”

[It should be noted, however, that while the Syrian-Eastern Church has only one Office for all three celebrations, with a few texts specific to each, the Chaldeans have three offices of their own. But in both Churches, the feast of August 15th is merged with the feast of the Assumption].


(Freely taken from the Syro-Western Rite Liturgy)

Praise to you, O Christ, incomparable and unapproachable light, heavenly bread, ear of delights that never wither, true love that never wanes and perfect hope that never disappoints. At the sight of the world that was hungry and thirsty for the bread of life, spiritual food of the soul, you hurried to meet it with your grace, without even calling you; you descended like dew and fine rain on the cursed earth and you chose a good earth, the breast of Mary, the pure maiden of David.

This received you like heavenly dew and so the world had the blessed ear; she carried you on her lap with admirable sweetness and brought you into the world like a sheaf of wheat; she fed you with its milk like water that fertilizes and makes you grow, offered you to the world as a cluster of life, carried you in her arms like the fleece, o you, who are the heavenly dew, and for you the world received the water of life; she conceived you without cultivation and you grew admirably inher without human irrigation. For this we offer our greetings to you, saying:

Blessed are you, O spiritual ship by which the wealthy merchant received the heavenly treasures!
Blessed are you, O Virgin Mother of God, blessed fleece that welcomed the dew from above!
You are the blessed field and the thirsty land on which the dew came down from above and made the ear of delights grow!
You gave as life to your children your Child, who saved our race made of dust and gave it eternal life.
For the fruitful wheat grown by you, you have brought consolation to the whole world, and for the plant grown in you, you have satisfied all the nations.

And now we ask you, O Christ our God, freely incarnated in this blessed Virgin, to spread your blessings on fields and crops, bless the trees, vineyards and gardens, preserving them from all scourge; preserve also our souls from every passion of the body and from diabolical suggestions, and we will praise you during our life and after our death, together with your Father and your Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.


O Mother of God, Mary, blessed field in which the ear that nourishes the worlds and creatures and gives the bread of life to all its inhabitants has grown, begs for us the Son of God incarnate in you, to satisfy our hunger with his divine bread and cure our ills with the ointment of his help, and we will give him glory and gratitude, forever and ever. Amen.


GEORGE GHARIB su http://www.stpauls.it/madre06/0602md/0602md11.htm