September 21, 2020

Message in a Bottle Destined for a Monastery of the Archangel Micheal on a Greek Island Finds Its Way to Libya


Three young men could not believe their luck when they found a bottle that reached the shores of Libya with two fifty euro bills and a note that they could not read because it was in Greek. 

On Friday 9/11/20, on the shores of the Ras al-Hilal area in eastern Libya, a young Libyan man found a bottle with 100 euros and a handwritten message in Greek that read: "Thank you Panormitis! Always take care of us!"

The specific photos were also shared on a Libyan twitter page, with users wondering what the specific message says. 

According to a long-standing tradition, vows put in bottles and thrown into the sea travel from all over the world to the Holy Monastery of the Archangel Michael in Panormitis of Symi, a small island of the Dodecanese. They even say that in a paradoxical way they manage to reach their destination, at the Monastery of the Archangel. 

This custom of a bottle being thrown into a body of water connected to the Aegean Sea from anywhere in the world with a destination at the Panormitis in Symi began during the Turkish occupation and continues to this day. In the past, the faithful used to send their vows in glass bottles, even in boxes, while, even today, many write their vows inside the bottle, sometimes writing their address, their name, their request, as well as their telephone numbers.


Those who are unable to visit the Holy Monastery, can place incense in the small bottle, money, a paper with the names of those who they wish to be prayed for, whether it be for their health or for their soul if they died, with their name, address or even their phone number.

The Panormitis, according to tradition, will take over from there and guide the bottle with the vows and offerings to eventually reach Symi, in the bay of the Holy Monastery, or else it will be entangled in the fishermen's nets off the island. In the Holy Monastery are kept to this day many such bottles and boxes that arrived in what is believed to be a miraculous manner, having traveled to the Panormitis from various parts of the world (America, Australia, England, etc.) over the past decades.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.