June 10, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Women pray at the icon of the Virgin Mary, eating the wick from the lamp to conceive a child

Forget everything you knew about expensive in vitro fertilization! Women on the island of Crete come to one of the churches of the island and eat the wick from an oil lamp burning in front of the icon …

Reportedly mass mediaevery year at this time, hundreds of women come to the church of Panagia Almiri (Virgin Mary) near the village of Vurbuliti in Messara.

Local residents consider Panagia Almiri their protector and rush to the church to entrust her with a secret that burdens them, ask her for help, beg to bless them with a child.

Women who wish to have a child must eat a piece of the wick from an oil lamp burning in front of the icon of the Virgin.

The church has two naves: one aisle is dedicated to the Ascension, and the other to the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Every year, crowds of people on foot, as well as in cars from all over Messara and beyond, come to Almiri to make offerings and light a candle.

The icon of Panagia Almiri is an object of pilgrimage for the faithful of Messara and other places. Existing myths and beliefs, as well as historical evidence found during archaeological excavations, make up a unique picture of a small church, first built in the years of the Apostle Titus.

Panagia is called Almiri – Salty, because “the water on which our little church was built was from a small river, brackish by God’s grace.” Frescoes from the 9th and 11th centuries have been preserved in the church.

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