Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Holy Church of Panagia Evaggelistria of Tinos

The Holy Church of Panagia Evaggelistria of Tinos is one of the most famous churches in Greece. It was built on the site where the Icon of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary was miraculously discovered after the Nun Pelagia had a vision. The faithful believe that the Icon performs miracles. There are inspiring stories of the redeeming intervention of the Virgin Mary which people have been fortunate enough to experience after dedicating fervent prayers to Her during difficult times in their lives.

The history of the Holy pilgrimage and the history of the Modern Greek state run parallel. The discovery of the Icon in 1923 was considered a divine omen for the justice and the success of the revolution against the Turkish occupation, while the erection of the grand church was the first large architectural project of the newly established Greek state.

Throughout the year pilgrims gather from all over the Orthodox World in order to pay respect to the Holy Icon, kept in this church and which is studded with diamonds, sapphires and pearls – offerings given by emperors, kings and the faithful Christians.

Especially in August, the whole island is swamped by pilgrims who have come to pray in Her church or in fulfillment of a vow. As Our lady’s feast day, 15 August, approaches, the church and island of Tinos become crammed with people. Religious services take place next to the commercial fair being held in the surrounding streets. The Church stands imposingly, high up at the end of the main road. It is built of white marble and is ringed by a number of ancillary buildings.

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