January 23, 2014

Panagia Melikiotissa: The Icon Shot With 55 Bullets

Half a century later, the inhabitants of Melikis in Imathia are reliving the miracle.

It is a miracle of their Panagia, who saved the village and hundreds of souls from death during the period of the Greek Civil War.

The icon of Panagia Melikiotissa, which was "hidden" for more than fifty years, has "appeared" again.

This time in the hands of the new parish priest of the Church of Saint Paraskevi, Father George. The locals consider the reappearance as a sign from God that He has not abandoned them.

As they say, the icon still today remains miraculous. The folklorist and journalist George Melikis at one point wrote about the historic event and considers it in his survey as being an unexplained incident, which none of his protagonists ever forgot.

The miracle

The rare figure of the Panagia, which attracts anyone who sees it for the first time, is the second feature that makes the icon special. The first feature is what the locals of Melikis call a miracle: 55 bullets found throughout the icon, except on her face which remained intact.

It was the 17th of March in 1947. The Civil War made the region bloody. In the Sacred Church of Saint Nicholas, a few dozen soldiers (some say 55 souls together with the women and children) sought shelter to protect them from the fury of war.

Someone betrayed them. Before dawn arrived, the first shots were heard. This was followed by an attempt of the rebels to break down the wooden door of the old church. It was impossible. Then they began to shoot in bursts. When their guns were emptied, they entered the ruined church and were stunned by what they saw. None of the soldiers nor anyone else inside were injured in the slightest. All the bullets were found on the icon of the Panagia, which graced the icon screen. A unique point is that not one bullet hit the face of the Theotokos, which continued to stare at everyone with love.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.