July 7, 2010

The Island of Saint Kyriaki and Her Chapel

Agia Kyriaki (Αγια Κυριακη in Greek) is a small Greek island less than one mile from Astypalaia in the Dodecanese islands.

On the island is the small church of Agia (Saint) Kyriaki. Every July 7th the people of Leros will go to the small island to celebrate the name day of the saint. The island is also an ideal place for fishing and diving.

Viewed from above, the island looks similar to a misshapen beet.

Chapel of Saint Kyriaki

Tradition has it that a fisherman who used to go to the island often to collect salt, kept on falling on a piece of wood. He would pick it up and throw it in the sea, but the next time he was on the island there it was again. The third time, annoyed as he was, he took a good look at it and saw that it was in fact an icon of Saint Kyriaki. He decided to build a church at the same spot he found the icon.

About Saint Kyriaki the Great Martyr

Saint Kyriaki was the daughter of Christian parents, Dorotheos and Eusevia. She was given her name because she was born on Sunday, the day of the Lord (in Greek, Kyriaki). She contested in Nicomedia during the reign of Diocletian, in the year 300. After many bitter torments she was condemned to suffer beheading, but being granted time to pray first, she made her prayer and gave up her holy soul in peace.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
O Lord Jesus, unto Thee Thy lamb Kyriaki doth cry with a great voice: 'O my Bridegroom, Thee I love; and seeking Thee, I now contest, and with Thy baptism am crucified and buried. I suffer for Thy sake, that I may reign with Thee; for Thy sake I die, that I may live in Thee: accept me offered out of longing to Thee as a spotless sacrifice.' Lord, save our souls through her intercessions, since Thou art great in mercy.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
The Martyr of Christ Kyriaki hath called us all together now to praise and acclaim her wrestlings and her godly feats; for possessed of manliness of mind, she hath proved to be worthy of her name, being lady and mistress of her mind and the passions of unseemliness.