September 8, 2016

Synaxis of Panagia the Giatrissa in Loutraki of Corinth

Panagia Giatrissa (Feast Day - September 8)

In the center of the city of Loutraki stands the imposing Church of Panagia the Giatrissa, as a steadfast pillar of the faith of the residents. Inside is kept the wonderworking icon of the Panagia which depicts She Who is Full of Grace at a young age holding the Divine Child.

The icon came from Jerusalem in 1928, and with the help of Metropolitan Damaskinos of Corinth a chapel was built (across from the present day church), and due to its many miraculous healings it was named Panagia the Giatrissa (the Healer). Due to the large influx of pilgrims, on 10 March 1960, the present church was founded by Metropolitan Prokopios of Corinth. It is a three-aisled basilica with an octagonal dome. It includes a wooden icon screen and the imposing shrine of the icon of the Panagia.

The history of the holy icon of the Panagia the Giatrissa is as follows: Every summer a woman named Maria, who was a midwife, would come to Loutraki for its healing spa. She would stay at the house of Maria Sokos, with whom she had friendly relations. When this Maria went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, she brought back a gift to Maria Sokos, which was an icon of the Panagia holding the Christ Child on her left. In Jerusalem the seller had told Maria to give the icon to godly people, who believe in the Panagia, and to light candles to her and keep an oil lamp burning day and night, because it was a wonderworking icon.

Maria told Maria Sokos all these things. She also told her that twenty days after giving the Holy Icon she would die, which she did.

Maria Sokos received the icon in 1928. The reverence of the residents of Loutraki, as well as that of foreigners, in time grew. That is when they considered building the church. A committee was created with the help of His Eminence Metropolitan Damaskinos and Donors, and they built it on land donated by John Marras, opposite the present Church of Panagia the Giatrissa.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone
Fragrant nectar of the Theotokos, honorable Throne of the King of All, you pour forth fragrance O Virgin to Your servants, for You held God in your womb, fill us all with divine grace, for we all ever proclaim and glorify You as the true Mother of God.