June 2, 2011

Synaxis of Panagia Chrisopigi of Sifnos

Panagia Chrisopigi (Feast Day - Ascension Day)

On the road leading to Platy Gialos there emerges the sacred rock of Chrisopigi. This is one of the most beautiful and famous landscapes of the island of Sifnos: a small bridge connects the island with Sifnos, and on the rock is the majestic Monastery which dates to the 16th century.

Inside the Monastery is housed the miraculous icon of Panagia Chrisopigi (Golden Spring).

According to folk tradition, centuries ago there lived nuns in the Monastery of Panagia Chrysopigi, who preserved the Monastery and lived in cells. In a raid on the island, while most of the nuns managed to flee from the attackers, one of them stayed behind at the Monastery. Pursued by pirates, the nun asked Panagia Chrysopigi to save her. Responding to the nuns prayer, the Virgin Mary divided the bay in two, creating a schism, throwing the invaders into the sea. The schism is the hallmark of Chrisopigi where a strip of sea separates the bay from the mainland.

Panagia Chrysopigi was declared the patroness of the island in 1964 with more than 35 miracles recorded.

The main church is a basilica with a dome and interior walls that form a semi-circular apse. The floor is marble bearing an inscription dated to 1818. It also has a magnificent wooden iconostasis.

Normally the Monastery celebrates on the fifth day after Pascha, but the people of Sifnos solemnly celebrate on the day of the Ascension of Christ, 40 days after Pascha.