July 23, 2013

The Holy Icon of Panagia Odegetria Returns to Vatopaidi Monastery

Centuries ago the holy icon of Panagia Odegetria could be found on a pillar in the main church of the Holy Monastery of Vatopaidi on Mount Athos. However, in 1730 it suddenly disappeared from its place, at a time when the doors of the church were locked, and it was located in the Holy Monastery of Xenophontos in a similar place in that church. It was believed the icon was stolen, so it was brought back to Vatopaidi and placed where it was previously located. Stringent security measures were applied to prevent its theft again and the monks sealed the church.

After a few hours the church was opened again for early morning service, and to everyone's amazement the icon was missing from its place. They were soon informed that the icon could be found once more in the church of Xenophontos Monastery in the same corresponding place. This convinced all the fathers that a miracle had taken place of the Theotokos and that her will was not to be resisted. For this reason the fathers of Vatopaidi ran to Xenophontos to venerate the Panagia Odegetria, and from that time they devoutly send oil and candles to her in her new residence.

On July 23, 2013 the fathers of Vatopaidi Monastery celebrated the feast of All Saints of Vatopaidi Monastery, and to honor the feast the Abbot of Xenophontos Monastery, Archimandrite Alexios, brought the holy icon of Panagia Odegetria to Vatopaidi for the first time since 1730, to the joy of all the fathers of Vatopaidi, and their abbot Ephraim. It arrived on July 22nd and will depart July 24th.