July 12, 2010

Panagia Tricherousa (Three Hands) in Nea Kios

Panagia Tricherousa (Feast Day - July 12)

Nea Kios is a village and the seat of the municipality of Lerna in the southwestern part of the prefecture of Argolis. Nea Kios means "New Kios", from Kios (Latin: Cius) a Greek colony near the modern town Gemlik in Turkey. Nea Kios was founded in 1927 when it welcomed Greek refugees from Kios in Asia Minor.

One of the four icons these refugees brought from Asia Minor is the miraculous icon of Panagia Tricherousa (All-Holy Virgin of the Three Hands) or Koukouzelisa. It is housed in the Byzantine church of "Theomana" where you can also find iconography by Photios Kontoglou. The other three icons brought by the refugees from Asia Minor are the 11th century wonder-working icon of Theomana-Odigitria, the icon of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary and an icon of Panagia Portaitissa.

This icon of Panagia Tricherousa was brought over by Zoe Pippidou, and in order to protect it from the Turks confiscation she cut it in half.

The feast of Panagia Tricherousa is celebrated with a large festival in Nea Kios on July 12th.

The original icon of Panagia Tricherousa, before which St. John of Damascus (Dec. 4) received healing of his amputated hand, was given by him to the Lavra of Saint Savvas the Sanctified in the Holy Land. In the thirteenth century the icon was brought to Serbia, and afterwards it was miraculously transported to Mount Athos to the Hilandari Monastery where it remains and is celebrated till this day.