May 3, 2016

Synaxis of Panagia Koutsouriotissa in Erateini of Phocis

The Panagia chose a rocky, steep hill about 800 meters above sea level, near the village of Amygdalia Doridos to have her Monastery built. Before the Monastery was built in 1670, a miracle took place leading to the discovery of her Holy Icon.

A Monk of the Monastery of the Archangels in Aigio saw a light that was separate from any other light in its vividness and brilliance, and it always remained at the same spot. This made him wonder with curiosity what the light was. It seemed as if  it would be a figure who was illuminated by God. Shortly thereafter his curiosity was satisfied.

This Monk saw the Panagia in his dreams who basically told him: "At exactly the spot where you see the light is my icon and I want you to dwell there."

These brief words were revealing, and he acted immediately. Going through Corinth into Erateini he came to the spot where he had seen the light. Having descended the steep cliff he came to a cave and at the entrance was a tree, where in its hollow trunk was the icon of the Panagia. A little further inside the cave he built a chapel that still exists today, and there he placed the Holy and Wonderworking Icon.

This miracle became widely known and many pilgrims began to come. The Holy Icon became known as the Panagia Koutsouriotissa, after the hollow trunk of the tree where the icon was found.

For the convenience of the faithful a church was built at the top of the hill in 1670, with cells surrounding it. It seems that it later became a Monastery which had satisfactory progress until 1825, when it was destroyed by the Turks. It was rebuilt in 1835 with the surrounding cells.

This Monastery offered great service to the residents of the area, who fled to the Monastery for protection from the Albanian-Turks who chased them. The church and cells drew extensive damage from the earthquake of June 15, 1995 and with the tireless efforts of the new brotherhood and Metropolitan Athenagoras a new and beauteous church (katholikon) was built in the same place.

Panagia Koutsouriotissa celebrates on February 2, Bright Tuesday, the Second Sunday of June (to celebrate the Enthronement of the Holy Icon), and August 23rd.

Apolytikion in the First Tone
Your revered Icon Koutsouriotissa Lady, we have reverently received as divine sanctification, and all of Phocis runs to your Monastery, and receives from it your oversight of their fervent entreaties, crying out to you O Virgin: Glory to your goodness Pure One, glory to your wonders, glory to your aid towards us All-Praised One.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Your wondrous and Holy Icon, which we conveniently call Koutsouriotissa, on every occasion we run to in haste, receiving from it our every request, and it redeems us from all distress and sorrow. You provide us with everything profusely, Maiden Graced by God, by your grace.

You gave us your revered Icon, Full of Grace Koutsouriotissa Mariam, the divine treasure of all in Phocis, granting to all sanctification and grace.

Cave where the Icon was found

New church built at the top of the hill

The Monastery before it was destroyed in 1995