According to tradition, while on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, two Greek princes came across a chest that once belonged to St Mary.
In Galilee, they saw a large crowd gathered in front of a Jewish woman’s house. On enquiring, they found that the sick were being healed due to the inexplicable power of the chest. The princes took the box to Constantinople and presented it to the Patriarch, who placed it in the Church of St Mary. The Patriarch then established the Feast of the Discovery of St Mary’s Box.
Because there are no relics of the Holy Mother’s earthly body (she was assumed into Heaven), her personal belongings became the object of devotion and veneration. During the time of the early Church, when Christians were persecuted, her possessions were kept hidden and secret.
The Armenian Church celebrates this feast upon the order of the Catholicos Simeon from Yerevan, who accepted this tradition from the Greek Orthodox Church in the late 18th century.
This feast day is celebrated on the fifth Sunday after Pentecost.