The feast of the Protection of the Mother of God is a feast very warm and dear to us, because in it is expressed the special closeness to us of the Most Pure Virgin. She spreads her veil over all those who pray, regardless of how righteous or pious we are, if only we turn to her with our whole heart.
Generally, the meaning of the feast of the Protection is impossible to explain rationally or reasonably, but is experienced and felt by the heart as the relationship of a caring, loving mother with her own children. A mother gets up at night to check on her child, and if the child is sick, then the mama doesn’t pity herself and will not rest until she has taken every measure that her child might recover. And as children open to their mothers their childish sorrows, feelings and desires, so we can reveal to the Most Pure Virgin all our troubles and to her alone we can turn then when we have no one else to turn to. And she will cover us. Her veil is prayerful care for us, it is the grace of God given to the Holy Virgin as to the very closest to God, and by this grace she is ready to protect us always.
Russia has always honored the saints, especially those dear to the common people: Nicholas the Wonderworker, Sergius of Radonezh, Seraphim of Sarov, Matrona of Moscow. But dearest of all is the Mother of God. In Russia there was always informal, heartfelt veneration, like as to your birth mother, who you can turn to with any trouble, and Russia has always been under the veil of the Mother of God. This is why in every Orthodox home in Russia amongst the icons there is a special place dedicated to the image of the Mother of God.
Priest Valery Dukhanin