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Panagia of Tinos

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The [[church]] and [[icon]] '''Panagia of Tinos''', also known as the '''Panagia Megalochari of Tinos''' (Great Grace) or '''Evangelistria of Tinos''' (Our Lady of Good Tidings) , is a the declared national patron [[saint]] of Greece, because its discovery coincided with the very first days of the creation of the modern Greek State, and has since become the most venerated religious icons [[icon]]s in all of Greece. It is located on has three festivals in the island Church calendar: The anniversay of '''Tinos in the Cyclades''' of Greece. The icon is a beautiful portrayal finding of the Virgin Mary kneeling with her head bent in prayer. Their are four major festival days are commemorated in association with this icon and church: ([[January 30|30 Jan]], the annniversary of finding the icon); The [[Annunciation]] ([[March 25|Mar 25]], ); and the anniversary of the vision of St. [[Annunciation Pelagia of the Virgin MaryTinos]]; ([[July 23]]). The icon was rediscovered miraculously, attracted many pilgrims from all over Greece, and the anniversary construction of the vision Church of the nun Pelagia; Panagia Evangelistria was begun and [[August 15]], the [[Assumption of the Virgin Mary]]completed by 1830.
This The icon is a beautiful portrayal of the Virgin Mary kneeling with her head bent in prayer. It is regarded as being older than the Byzantine period. Many , and many scholars regard this icon to even be the work of the [[Apostle]] and [[Evangelist]] [[Apostle Luke|Luke]]. It is assumed that this icon was so highly esteemed in the Byzantine era it was either hidden or lost around the time of the Moslem invasions. The icon was rediscovered miraculously and the construction of a church was begun and completed by 1830. Even before this church was finished, pilgrims started visiting the island of Tinos from all of Greece. Numerous reports of miracles have increased the fame of this Church to the point that this is the most venerated icon in all of Greece.
===the Vision of nun Pelagia===According to the tradition, in 1822 the ''Mother of God'' appeared to Sister Pelagia, a local [[nun ]] from the [[Monastery of Kechrovouniou (Tinos, named Pelagia, dreamed that Greece)|Monastery of Kechrovouniou]] requesting her to unearth a miraculous wonder-working icon was buried nearby. Pelagia led The sister ignored this vision on many occasions considering that it was merely her neighbors imagination, however, the ''Virgin Mary'' appeared to her one final time and rebuked the place she had seen in nun for her dream, disbelief and when they began warned her that she would fall ill if she continuted to dig, they discovered the remains of a Byzantine church with the icon insideresist.
===The Evangelistria Church===This large church is made of marbletradition continues that the sister visited the [[bishop]] for his thoughts on her visions. A few years earlier, sourced from another local had visited the islands bishop for the same request by the ''Mother of Tinos and also from ParosGod''. The bishop, therefore, with traces of green-venied Tiniot stone. Outsidebelieved that these visions were authentic, it has an architecturally distinctive bell tower which was built in 1824. The courtyard and he rang the church bells to gather the entire town and inform them of the church is paved with pebble request.
Excavations commenced in September 1822. While searching for the icon, ruins of a small old Byzantine [[chapel]] were found and this in turn covered the foundations of a 4th-century edifice that had been dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St. [[John the Baptist]]. In the vision to Pelagia, the Virgin Mary had told her that this church had been burnt down in the 10th-century by Arab pirates. The cornerstone for the church was laid on [[January 1]], 1823 and the chapel was named in honour of the [[Life-Giving Spring|"Life-Giving Spring"]] (Gr. Ζωοδοτος πιγις) since an ancient well had been found on this site also. On [[January 30]], the excavations were continued and, as locals from the village of Phalatas where leveling the foundation a few metres from the well, their shovel struck the icon. They uncovered the half of the icon with the Archangel Gabriel holding out a lily to the Mother of God. They later discovered the matching half of the Virgin kneeling accepting her role in the Incarnation. These two pieces have since been joined together. ===Description of the Panagia Evangelistria Church=Inside==This is a large church paved with lovely pebble and marble mosaic courtyard, sourced from the islands of Tinos and also from Paros, including green-veined Tiniot stone. It is surrounded by offices, chapels, a First Aid health station and seven museums. A broad flight of marble stairs leads to the main church and it also has an architecturally distinctive bell tower built in 1824. The main patronal [[feast day]] is for the Dormition of the Mother of God, and it celebrates the three feasts surrounding the Panagia of Tinos icon. The upper church is decorated, on the inside, with gifts of gold, silver and precious jewel [[votives]]. Some of the more well known gifts include the golden orange tree, donated by a blind man who regained his sight miraculously. There are also votives of cars, houses, cribs and many ships some of the more smaller items include metalic hands or foot ornaments and lots of jewellery. The lower church, called the ''Evresis'', contains the [[crypt]] used when the icon was found. This crypt is surrounded by small chapels including a baptismal [[font]] filled with silver and gold votives. This crypt is often crowded with pilgrims dressed in white seeking to be symbolically 'baptised' by the [[Holy water|holy-water]] from the [[font]]. Another chapel, to the left of the font, is dedicated to an attack made on the Greek ship 'Helle' on the day of the Dormition in 1940. The Tinoites believe that through the assistance of the Virgin Mary of Tinos, the Greek army was able to overpower the attack of the Italians. Within the walls of the church are various museums and galleries. To the left is a gallery for 19th-century religious art, there is also a gallery housing Byzantine icons and also various offices. Another gallery is the sculpture museum which is up the flight of stairs. There is also a small Archaeological museum just below the cathedral. ==Recent History==Numerous reports of miracles have increased the fame of this Church to the point that this is the most venerated icon in all of Greece. In 1842, a Greek criminal named Christodoulos Dimitriadis hid in one of the overhanging balconies of the church. He took the [[chalice]], various [[altar]] utensils and also the icon which was covered in gold and precious stones much like it is today. By noon the next day, he was caught trying to escape to Andros. ===Miracles===*A Greek-American regained his sight and offered to the church the famous silver miniature Orange Tree that is meticulously crafted with small replicas of the fruit and miniature [[candle]]s on the uppermost branches. It is on the right of the church as you enter through the doors.*1915, King Constantine of Greece was cured from a serious life-threatening condition. He presented the church with a golden plaque depicting himself on a horse which is affixed to the wooden kneeler near the icon.*Healing of a Crippled Child. ==How to get there==To get to the island, also known as the "Island of the Winds", one must take a state ferry from Athens. The voyage will take approximately three hours. Disembarking at the port, a few 100 metres to the left, a [[pilgrim]] is confronted by the second largest street known as the ''Leoforos Megalochares'' (the Street of Great Joy) which leads up to the neo-classical church at the top of the steep slope. This street is heavily lined with merchants, on either side, selling ecclesiastical bits and pieces such as oil lamps, replica icons, postcards etc. It is traditional for many pilgrims to crawl the entire length of this street on their hands and knees, crossing themselves first, as a physical ascetical offering in preparation of meeting the icon of Tinos. This offering should be done in supplication, or thanksgiving for prayers answered or in repentance.
==External Sources==
*[ Vincenzo Travel Agency website on the island of Tinos] (Greek and English)
*[ The Panhellenic Shrine of the Virgin Mary]
 *[ Sacred Destinations Travel Guide]
[[Category:About Icons]]
[[Category:Icons of the Theotokos]]

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