August 19, 2010

Panagia Ekatontapiliani and the Blaspheming Fisherman

In Piso Livadi of Paros, on the day prior to the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos of August 15th in 1931, there were three groups of fishermen fishing with the method known as gri-gri* between Paros and Naxos.

That night one of the teams stayed in the small port. The fishermen began to drink a lot of alcohol, and the drinking brought in a party atmosphere. Not even the All-Holy Virgin escaped from being blasphemed against by their loosened tongues and filthy words.

Suddenly the sky became stormy and the sea gained a strong current. Within a half an hour the waves grew to the size of a mountain and the boats with the fishermen were washed ashore and damaged. Immediately the sea then calmed and a small boat from Naxos entered into the port.

Seeing the boats washed ashore, the captain of the small boat came to the fishermen and asked them: "How did this happen? The sea for me was like glass."

"It was a miracle of the Panagia", explained one of the fishermen.

The majority of the fishermen agreed, though a few others sought to give a different explanation. "It was a tornado. Good thing it didn't lift our boat into the sky," said one.

Gregory Liakouras explained it saying: "Come on now, that it was a miracle. The Panagia, lest I say another word, is in no mood to bother with us fishermen." Upon saying this he went to his boat to see the damage. He then spat on it and blasphemed the Panagia again and went off to sleep.

As soon as he lay down to sleep, while awake, the Panagia appeared to George and asked him: "Why, my child, don't you respect me?"

"What is that you're telling me, my lady?" he said angrily. "I do not know you. When did I not respect you?"

"You don't know me? Why then do you always blaspheme me?" she asked.

With those words, George became afraid and got up, began screaming, and wanted to run but was unable. His legs were buried in the sand up till his knees. He then did his cross, then was able to clearly see the Panagia, who said to him: "Come to my house at Ekatontapiliani in Paroikia of Paros. Go there to venerate me."

George left running. He arrived at Panagia Ekatontapiliani a little before sunrise. He ran to the icon of the Panagia and recognized the woman who appeared to him in the vision. Kneeling he began to pray for many hours. Later he returned to Piso Livadi and witnessed another miracle - the boats of his fishing team were ashore without any damage.

* Gri-gri (γρι γρι) fishing is when there is a main big boat that pulls all the other vessels, a smaller (usually with its own engine) that collects the lamps and at least one lamp boat. Years ago there were 4-5 small lamp-boats but nowdays they have been replaced with the lamp robots.