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Panagia Evangelistria (Tinos, Cyclades, South Aegean, Greece)
Tinos, Greece (1823)

Commemorated on January 30, July 23, August 15
Panagia Evangelistria (Tinos, Cyclades, South Aegean, Greece)
In 1822, on the island of Tinos, a nun named Pelagia had visions of the Virgin telling her where to search for an icon, at the spot where a church should be built in her name. She told the priest, who convinced the inhabitants to start excavations, which finally uncovered an ancient icon of the Annunciation on January 30, 1823. It is believed by both devotees and scholars that the icon predates the Byzantine church destroyed by the Moslems in the 900s.  Despite the harsh winter weather of the Aegean, the Church of Megalokhari (Great Joys) built to house the miraculous icon sees a great influx of pilgrims on this date every year, come to celebrate its finding. After an afternoon Eucharist, to the sound of all the bells on the island, community leaders carry the sacred image on a gold and silver pedestal through the city, which is decorated for a festival. After brief prayers on the seaside, the icon returns to its Marble Palace, where a requiem is said for the Sanctuary founders and for the repose of the souls of those whose sacrifices furthered its construction. Panagia Evangelistria, Our Lady of Good News,  is also honored here on March 25 (feast of the Annunciation), July 23 (anniversary of Pelagia's vision), and August 15 (feast of the Dormition). It is one of the holiest Orthodox shrines in Greece. Usually hidden behind a jeweled cover, the icon was unveiled on a Greek stamp issued in 1973 for the 150th anniversary of its finding (picture from "Tinos," Hellenica,


According to tradition, one night in 1822 a nun named Pelagia of Tinos, dreamed that a miraculous icon was buried and the Virgin wanted to dig. When they started digging, they discovered the remains of a Byzantine church with the icon.
The icon of Panagia Evangelistria, which depicts Mary kneeling in prayer, is believed to be the work of St. Luke and having miraculous healing powers. Our Lady of Tinos was declared patron saint of the Greek nation. 
For help on the icon, a sick person sends a young family woman or a mother carrying her sick child. As the pilgrim descends from the boat, falls to his knees, with traffic buzzing around, and painfully dragged along the lane on the main road 1 km (½ mile) to the church.
In the courtyard of the church, the pilgrim camping for several days, praying to the icon for a magic cure. This process is very similar to that observed in the ancient temple of Poseidon Tinos.


The sanctuary, which dates back to 1830, was enriched inside with gold and precious stones, to receive the holy icon in prodigious circumstances. In 1835, a royal decree declared all Orthodox Pilgrimage, while Catholics have called the Lourdes of the Aegean Sea for its perfect affinity with the Shrine of the French Pyrenees: speaking of repentance, conversion, reconciliation, hope and trust in the intercession of the Virgin Mary for the many sick and afflicted in body and soul.
In 1972, another decree Sacra defined Tinos Island by the value of the miraculous icon of Panagia Evangelistria.
The Sanctuary is a large white building, surrounded by great facilities for the reception of pilgrims and flanked by a double staircase, its bell tower dominates the town with a stunning bay at his feet.
Inside the basilica, to the center, is the seat of the "Evangelistria a marble tabernacle that houses the image of Our Lady of the Annunciation, almost completely covered in jewels that blurs the sacred character played on his face.
Leads directly to the shrine through a broad avenue, on solemn occasions, became the scene of particularly poignant scenes: young people who are crawling on your knees, adults dressed in black for a vote, the sick lying on their bed When the procession to the sacred image touch their bodies that send pilgrims aloud to the Mother of God, prayers and supplications poignant.
Inside, the most superficial pilgrim feels a thrill, almost hypnotized by the atmosphere we breathe faith, expressed in ex votos of all kinds, especially miniature ship hanging everywhere, candles and oil lamps glowing in each corner, barefoot faithful pouring scented oil or burn incense before the sacred altar.
Inside the upper church, hundreds of votive offerings of gold and silver, hanging lamps and candles beeswax illuminate the holy icon of the Virgin.
The votive offerings in silver, gold and precious stones, take forms such as a hand or a foot, a cradle, a house or a car. Each tells a story resplendent gift of thanks for an answer to prayer. To the right of the entrance is a lemon tree gold, donated by a blind man who regained his sight.
Even those who do not make a splendid gift have the habit of lighting a candle light inside the church. The devotion of the pilgrims is manifested in these gifts and candles, and piety of those who crawl on their knees at the church from the dock.
The lower church, called the Evresis contains the crypt where the icon was found, and celebrates the discovery. The crypt is surrounded by small chapels, one of which has a font full of silver and gold votive. The crypt is often full of Greek parents and children in white, waiting to be baptized with water from the fountain.
The chapel on the left commemorates the torpedoing by the Italians, the Day of the Dormition of 1940, the Greek ship Helle.
Within the high walls surrounding the church there are several museums and galleries, most of which are interesting mainly as curiosities.
The gallery of religious art of the nineteenth century on the left to go through the front door and another gallery houses of Byzantine icons and the left is a fascinating exhibition of gifts to the cathedral.
The museum of sculpture, to the right and up a flight of stairs is one of the best galleries, containing gifts and sculptors, many very famous.
Just below the site of the Cathedral Leoforos Megaloharis there is a small archaeological museum. The collection includes findings Tesmoforio ancient sanctuary near Exomvourgo, and a sundial in the 2nd century AD found in the Sanctuary of Poseidon and Amphitrite in Kionia.

Tinos is a small island of the Cyclades, between Europe and Asia, and it is the National Shrine of Greece dedicated to the Panagia Evangelistria, ie "All Holy Annunciation". Located near the famous Delos, Tinos, has had several names in Greco-Roman antiquity: Ophiussa because it was full of snakes; Hydrussa by rich water sources; Anemussa due to incessant wind and stormy sea.
Ruled by Venice in 1207, fell under Turkish rule in 1714. After the Greek Revival, Tinos has its ultimate nickname as Madonna Island by the great number of churches and monasteries, and especially the Shrine of the Panagia Evangelistria, emerged as a result of wonders. Festivities attract many pilgrims from Greece and everywhere, especially on August 15, the feast of the Dormition of Mary, who becomes a period of extraordinary fervor which makes for a month in the center of the island and the heart Greek Christianity.



The heart of the sanctuary is the little icon of the Annunciation Panagia, whose history is manifested in the first half of the nineteenth century by dreams and apparitions.
A peasant named Ioannis Kiouzi humble, very pious from an early age had heard that the elderly have a place called Site located in the countryside of one Doxara, there was once a princess who had revived. For most people it was senseless legend.
Subsequently, one Michael Polyzoi had a dream: In February 1821, at age 80, I saw a woman of great beauty who told gently, "Go to my field, that of Antonio Doxara, excavate and recover my holy icon . " the old man woke up and, without hesitation, he decided to talk to some of his friends. After much research proved futile, he informed his pastor, who led the Metropolitan Gabriel. This is undecided pending events.
On July 9, 1822, at the Monastery of the famous "Mother of God of the Holy Angels," a pious nun, Pelagia, also had a dream, was hit by a smell of strong flowers, saw the door of his cell opened and a lady with a stunning pace, surrounded by a great light, enters and approaches the bed, saying, "Get up and go find a man named rápidamentea Stampatello Caldani, and tell him from me that I can not stand the place more where I am for so many years, I dig on the grounds of Antonio Doxara and build a new house ... ". said, she turned invisible. Pelagia arose and all the bells were ringing for matins. However, he refused to reveal his dream, fearing it was an illusion.
A week later, on the night between Saturday and Sunday, July 16, the same woman, surrounded by light, appeared again at the nun and insistently reiterated his desire. Pelagia, indecisive, he wondered what to do, what people say, and if this dream actually came from God.
The Third Sunday, July 23 before Matins, the unknown woman appeared and said sternly: "Why have not followed my order and these dubious? Why not have faith. " At these words the nun Pelagia you began to tremble and fear awoke dam. And awake to see the lady who suddenly raises his hand and says, "Listen for the last time, Pelagia: if you do not do what I asked, erase your name from the book of life."
The nun, more frightened than ever, only had the courage to ask: "But who are you giving me orders to do these things and this so mad at me?". then the lady with great grace pointing his finger and everybody said very quietly "Land announces great joy ...". The nun Pelagia fell to his knees, and had only the strength to continue "Megalinario" Ode of Ode IX of Canon of the Feast of the Annunciation: "Celebrate, the heaven, the glory of God. "
After Mass, I told him about the vision the abbess and the chaplain. These, not knowing what to do, send her to Metropolitan Gabriel. The Bishop of Tinos, which had already had two other signs, heard the nun with big now convinced that in the field of Doxara was located an old church with an icon of the Virgin interest, and decided to do everything possible to find and to build a new church, as requested by the Mother of God. After ringing the bells in the presence of all the clergy, the mayor and all the neighbors, made a sermon and called all the people of Tinos to recognize the miracle and retrieve the icon.
Excavations began in September 1822 and continued for two months without interruption, until brought to light the ruins of an old church and the remains of a dry well, but not the icon.
The search was stopped, but immediately fell on the city a pestilence which was interpreted as a warning that they should keep looking.
The search continued until January 30, 1823, a worker named Vlassi with his spade struck something that broke in two: it was the icon. Once cleaned and reassembled, they realize it was an icon of the "Annunciation of the Mother of God Mary hinted that remained hidden in the ground for nearly eight hundred years.
The news spread throughout the island of Tinos, the bells began to ring and the enthusiastic crowd gathered in the field where the Metropolitan Gabriel Doxara knees and with tears, hugged and sang the icon with the faithful Hymn of the Annunciation follows:
"Today is the beginning of our salvation 
and the manifestation of the mystery hidden for ages: 
the Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin, 
and Gabriel brought the good news of grace. 
With it, we cheered the Virgin ... " .


Construction of the church was Evangelistria, according to local tradition, occasion of numerous miracles. Many votive exposed to the view of pilgrims illustrate the miraculous events that occurred then.
One of these miracles was on a ship flying the British flag: in the vicinity of Tinos, was hit by a terrible storm that threatened to send it to the bottom. captain, with his eyes on the sanctuary still under construction, called for help, pledging to contribute to the cost of the work. Just delivered the vote, the ship was saved. The next day the storm ceased, the ship was able to reach the coast, allowing sailors to make a major gift to build the church.
Another miracle, always in favor of the people of the sea, a boat in the middle of a storm is thrown against a rock and opened a chink in his flank: the water came quickly and bombs could barely function, the captain and the rest of the sailors put all their hopes on the Mother of God and the miracle took place. input water immediately stopped the sailors managed to evacuate water and continue their journey. Coming to a Spanish port to repair the vessel, they found that they had been open crack blocked by a large shark. They were so amazed that led to the Mother of God of Tinos silver replica of the ship with the shark trapped in the hull: this ex voto can be seen today.
Among many other miracles, there are some who refer to the followers of other religions , such as a Muslim Turkish dignitary. This suffered from an incurable disease, entered the church of Our Lady, and implored his help. The Virgin heard his prayer and healed him. So grateful was that he was responsible for building a magnificent marble fountain with flowing water, which is close to the last steps of the church in this source the rite of water blessing of the Feast of the Baptism of Christ is celebrated .


The Sanctuary Evangelistria has always been the center of all religious and civil manifestations of the inhabitants of Tinos. In these circumstances take place trades thanks [Te Deum].
The most important festivals of the Shrine of Our Lady Evangelistria four.
1] The first held on January 30, which commemorates the discovery of the sacred icon. The day is a chance of large concentrations of people, facing winter storms in the Aegean.
The Eucharist is celebrated around two in the afternoon, and is followed by a solemn procession through the city and decorated holiday bells tolling throughout the island. Icon, located on a pedestal of gold and silver, is carried on the shoulders by the first neighbors, then by the country's authorities and representatives of all classes of Tinos. After a brief prayer for the sea, the icon is returned to Marble Palace, where a prayer Requiem recited on the graves of the founders of the Sanctuary and for the repose of the souls of those who have sacrificed for their construction.
2] A second feast is celebrated on March 25th day of the Annunciation of the Mother of God this day has a double importance for the Greeks, who celebrate the Annunciation of the Virgin the anniversary of the Greek revolution against the Ottoman Empire, culminated in the country's liberation from the Turkish yoke.
The festival is a religious and national character with the presence of representatives of state officials and members of the Government to carry out a vigil in a warship. At the time of the monarchy, the party should be more solemn by the presence of the King and Queen of the Greeks, who had a very special devotion to the Mother of God.
The vigil is celebrated with a Mass attended by many prelates, and on occasion the church is open to allow the pilgrims spend the night in prayer at the feet of the Virgin. On the day of the feast, the holy Liturgy is followed by a long procession with the sacred image to sea. After celebrating the solemn chanting of the Akathist, which ends with the recitation of invocations during the kiss icon is made.
3] A third party is celebrated on 23 July, the day of commemoration in the nun Pelagia had the great privilege of seeing in his humble cell to the Virgin and to hear the first message for the discovery of the icon.
For the occasion, and in the morning, the holy image, accompanied by a crowd of monks and believers, is transported from the Shrine to the Monastery of Pelagia, where Mass is celebrated as a sign of joy. In the afternoon, another office of Requiem is sung in cell Pelagia, where visitors can still see the objects belonging to religious humble: his bed is austere and visitors can even bend down to venerate the relic of the head. At dusk, the icon procession down the aisle, escorted by thousands of clergy and faithful.
4] The feast is that of the "Dormition of the Virgin" August 15, the only time of celebration of the inhabitants of the island of Tinos and all Christian denominations in Greece. This festival lasts almost the whole month of August, which therefore becomes the Marian month par excellence of all Eastern Christians. The festival is preceded 1 to August 14, a fast called "Lent of Madonna" and the daily singing of a craft called paralysis, or "Supplication to the Mother of God."
Day 14 is a solemn vigil that begins with the singing of Vespers in the great church and continues through the night with songs and hymns of a rare poetic beauty and theological. During this eve reach the island government representatives and officers of the military orders to pay homage to the Virgin, as crowds greet the Virgin aims, trying to find a place in the church. The pilgrimage of the faithful continued overnight.
For the occasion, we are witnessing the arrival of thousands of pilgrims from all over Greece and abroad in increasing numbers. These are the times that the Virgin chooses to manifest his presence and miracles. It is not uncommon for a deaf suddenly discover the use of the word and, overjoyed, knees run to the icon, or paralyzed or blind children back to health.
On the morning of August 15, the service begins with the singing of Matins and Divine Liturgy continues with John Chrysostom. The music of military bands marks the beginning of the party for the whole island. The culmination of this is the great procession with the icon of the Panagia [All Holy] placed in a tabernacle of gold surmounted by the cross and carried on the shoulders of the military. Slowly passes through the large crowd knees, while the liturgical chants mingle with the prayers of the faithful, especially the sick: the carriers stop to pass the image above the sick, while others try to touch . Tinos becomes the center of suffering and hope of all Greece.
On this day of celebration, Tinos awakens the atmosphere of a bustling city. The people that do not exceed three thousand, come reach 30 thousand people in the space of one night. The houses, streets, streets are filled with people: the party of all Christian souls. Mothers dressed in black with children in their arms, orphans, dresses black teens who have lost their health, up the steps of the great avenue knees. His sweat like drops of blood soaks the sacred ground, their faces are distorted by the effort, knees tear on the hard asphalt. But go their way, because they have committed to walk this way the path that leads to the throne of the Virgin.
The liturgical celebration of the feast continues until August 23, closing day of the Eighth Party. Many visitors stay until the end of the month, happy to extend your stay and remain under the protection of Megalocharis [Our Lady of All Graces].


Panagia Evangelistria, Tinos, Grecia

Panagia Evangelistria, Tinos, Grecia (Tinos, Greece)

The sanctuary, which dates back to 1830, was enriched inside with gold and precious stones, to receive the holy icon in prodigious circumstances. In 1835, a royal decree ...

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