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December 13, 2021

Saint Spyridon in Zaros: a Vision, a Chapel and a Baptism

There is an absence of churches dedicated to Saint Spyridon in southern Crete, which is why the chapel in his name in the area of Mega Livadi in the village of Zaros of the municipality Faistos we expected to have a special history and a special reason it was built in Pano Riza.

The Vision

As the son of the late builder of this chapel George Papadogiannakis, Spyros Papadogiannakis, who lives in Kapariana where he maintains a car body shop, told us, his father baptized him with this name and built the specific church, without any similar name in his family, but because he had seen a vision that moved him.

Specifically, George Papadogiannakis was plowing his field in Mega Livadi in December, with a plow and sacks, when, as he had narrated, an old man appeared who observed him because "he should not do agricultural work on the day of St. Spyridon."

The farmer from Zaros replied that "this is not a reason not to plow his field", but the next moment, the old man had left, and his animals left too, having broken loose from the plows and gone away!

Papadogiannakis, stunned by the incident, considered it a clear sign and decided to build a church on the spot and also to baptize his child born at that time with the name Spyridon.

The Building

As Spyros Papadogiannakis told us, his father built the church "with his own hands", without financial assistance from anywhere, carrying sand from the Gorge of Agios Nikolaos and stones from the surrounding area.

The Stone

And the big stone that exists outside the temple with a relief "imprint" like a footprint on it, has its own story: the owner of the church pulled it from the ground - after a relevant dream he saw - with the help of Kostas Tsikritsakis (Mountokostas) who had a loader.

A Treat

Every year, the wife of George Papadogiannakis, on the feast of the Saint - a day that her son also celebrates his name day - fries cod which she offers to the faithful who come to the liturgy.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.