Today, October 1, the Orthodox Church celebrates the Agia Skepi (Holy Protection) of the Theotokos, which is usually celebrated on October 28, when it is harmoniously associated with the Panhellenic National Day.
We also honor two great Hymnographers: Romanos the Melodist and John Koukouzelis.
Romanos the Melodist had originally served as a deacon in the Church of Beirut. Then he went to Constantinople, where he remained in the Church of The Theotokos of Vlacherna with faith and deep humility, watching the readings and the chanting during the worship services.
Romanos lived the manifestation of the presence of The Virgin Mary, a fact that shocked his soul, as a result of which he composed with veneration the well-known kontakion of the Birth of the Savior Christ: “Today the Virgin gives birth to Him who is beyond substance…”.
From that moment, Saint Romanos began to use his poetic talent, as a result of which he emerged as the most eminent and greatest melodist of the Orthodox Church.
Saint John Koukouzelis, who is also honored today by the Orthodox Church, was an excellent musician and melodious.
He came from Durres and lived in the years of Komnenos. His pious mother, after the death of her husband, along with the affection and good upbringing, gave her child the opportunity to learn the scriptures and the life of the Church. He became chief musician of the palace choir in Constantinople.
Then Koukouzelis left for the solitary state of Mount Athos, where he consecrated himself in the cell of the Archangels at the Monastery of Great Lavra.
After living peacefully, he fell asleep in the Lord at the beginning of the 12th century AD, chanting divine hymns to God.
Source: Church of Cyprus