Thursday, February 10, 2022

The Story Behind the Church of Saint Haralambos in Ilision

Church of Saint George in Kochylos

In the village of Kochylos on the island of Andros stands the Church of Saint George, where for many years they celebrate a miracle of Saint Haralambos.

Years ago, sometime in the 1960s, on the eve of the feast of Saint Haralambos, a poor old man appeared to a woman on a rainy evening and asked for hospitality. She put him in her kitchenette, sat him in a chair, served him food to eat and kept him overnight. In the morning the old man was gone. The incident was repeated one or two more times.

Meanwhile, the woman had a dream in which she entered the Church of Saint George and saw Saint Haralambos sitting in a low chair - like a stool - and asked her to take the initiative to build a church in Athens. In fact, as she explained, he described the place to her, but also how she would go to find the people who would help her. He asked her to go to Athens to the palace and ask the queen to tell her to build his "house" in the area of Ilision.

The low chair on which St. Haralambos sat.

The woman was surprised and amazed. How would she go to find the queen to ask her to build a church to Saint Haralambos in Ilision? But the dream was so vivid that she departed for Athens. She went to the palace and asked to see Queen Frederica. And in a strange way she accepted her and listened to her. The impressive thing about the story is that according to what was said, the request was immediately accepted. As if they were waiting for it. And so, at the urging of a woman from Kochylos of Andros, the famous Church of Saint Haralambos in Ilision was built, at a spot chosen by Queen Frederica.

Church of Saint Haralambos in Ilision
The above story and everything that surrounded it made a great impression on Kochylos and since then the village every year on the eve of the feast of Saint Haralambos in the Church of Saint George makes a big evening of it and honors the Saint with a celebration.
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