Thursday, August 4, 2016

Virgin Mary Faneromeni, miraculous icon – Hydra

In 1656 AD, on the small island of Hydra, there was a miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary in a small monastery. It was known to the inhabitants for the miraculous cures to those who approached it with faith. When pirates attacked the small Aegean island, the nobles gave them gifts in order to satisfy them. The pirates, however, captured many inhabitants of the islands to sell into slavery in Africa. The captives quickly began praying to the Theotokos, who appeared in front of them. Seeing this vision, the pirates fled. One of the pirates entered the Church building, where the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary was located. He grabbed the icon and began beating it with his knife. He later took the icon with him on the ship.

The pirate ship, before arriving in Crete, it fell into a terrible storm. The pirates then suggested to their captives from Hydra, to pray to their God in order to save them from destruction. The captives asked to pray in front of the miraculous icon. The pirate who vandalised the icon in Hydra did not agree with this, so he further vandalised the icon by cutting it in half and throwing it in the sea.
In a weird and miraculous way, the icon was seen in the Port of Hydra after a few hours, in front of the monastery. An old man saw the icon, and tried to grab it, without succeeding. He then went to the country side (Kiafa), where he announced the miracle to the priests and the faithful. They all went to the port, retrieved the icon, placed it in the monastery and due to this event, the named it Panayia Faneromeni (i.e. the Revealed Virgin Mary).

It is said that the Virgin Mary assisted in the return of the three captive Greeks from Hydra. She appeared to the eparch of the country, where the captives were to be sold off as slaves. The Theotokos asked for their release, which was granted. Interestingly enough, the eparch ordered the captain who brought them to him to return the captives to Hydra, which he did. 

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