January 31, 2022

Synaxis of the Panagia the Dakryroousa (Tear-flowing) in Kefallonia

Our Church honors the Synaxis of the Most Holy Theotokos the Dakryroousa (Tear-flowing) on January 31st. The icon of the Panagia the Dakryroousa, also known as Koroniotissa, is kept in the Panagia Koroniotissa Monastery of Lixouri on the island of Kefallonia. On this day the Panagia saved the monastery from the mighty earthquake of 1867.

In January 1867 a deadly earthquake leveled much of Paliki and caused severe damage in Kefallonia.

The official report registers 2642 destroyed houses throughout Kefallonia, 2946 houses with damage and 244 dead. The total damage was estimated at 15 million drachmas, and no neighboring island was damaged.

As it is told, a pious Orthodox Christian man of that time from of the outskirts of Lixouri "saw a vision that the earthquake was caused by God and that the island would sink, but the Koroniotissa (or the Dakryroousa), through her prayers saved the island of Kefallonia." In the morning, residents went with this pious Christian man to the Monastery of the Panagia Koroniotissa to thank her, and found the Holy Icon fallen down from its throne and tears coming out of her eyes, which are still visible today.

Thus the Panagia Koroniotissa is also called "Dakryroousa", because in the earthquakes of January 31, 1867, while the church of the monastery was not demolished, the icon was found on the floor with tears in her eyes.

The Sacred Monastery of the Most Holy Theotokos Koroniotissa is located at a distance of 3 km from the city of Lixouri. According to tradition, the ruler Leo Polykalas, after leaving persecuted from Koroni in the Peloponnese, took refuge in the province of Paliki in Kefallonia and brought with him an icon of the Mother of God. He then placed it with honors in a church, which was erected with his own care and expenses around the end of the 15th century. In the next century the church was probably destroyed by earthquakes. 
A shepherd from the Megalogenous family of the village of Polykalaton was grazing his sheep in the area where today is the Monastery. A ram would cut off from the herd every day and went to the spring that is under the fig tree (in the place where the church was before the earthquakes) to drink water. The shepherd, after watching it, saw on the fig tree a dazzling glow. Approaching he saw an icon of the Panagia with a small engolpion. He took her down from the tree and took her to his house. But the icon left on its own and returned to the fig tree where the shepherd found it. This happened many times, so that the shepherd was forced to announce the miracle and with the help of his fellow villagers the church was rebuilt. The original icon of Koroniotissa was lost. A copy of this miraculous icon is found today on a throne. 

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.