Panagia Kamariani is commemorated by the church on September 8.
History of the icon
There are only two known copies of this wonder-working and very miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary.
The original is still in the possession of a Greek Orthodox family living in Melbourne. It was a a family heirloom, passed down through the wife's family. She has since passed away and it is now in the possession of her husband.
It was through two miraculous visions and on the insistence of the Virgin Mary that this icon come to Melbourne, Australia. There are many in the Greek Orthodox Community who are still alive to share this tale but it has never formally been recorded or documented. Many visit the very Rev. Father Eleftherios at the church in Red Hill who is the longest serving priest in Melbourne and the first priest to serve Panagia Kamariani.
The copy of this icon is at the Holy Monastery of Panagia Kamariani, Red Hill and is as miraculous, if not more, than the original. The OrthodoxWiki author of this article can testify to having witnessed the image of the icon had 'written' two large tear drops weeping down her left cheek in 1997—this miracle was pointed out and witnessed by the priest of the church. The very next day, the image no longer had the tears written into the icon. This same miracle has also occurred on another occasion. This same copy of the icon has also streamed myrrh during a number of all-night litanies held at faithful's homes and their are so many countless miracles that have occurred recently that she is completely decorated with a lot of gold jewelry and many diamond and precious rings given as 'tamata' from the faithful.
Monasteries dedicated to Panagia Kamariani
- The holy monastery of Panagia Kamariani in Red Hill, Victoria, Australia, is under the omophorion of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia. The site has an area of 6.3 hectares and is located on the south east corner of Red Hill Road and Prossors Lane in Red Hill, Victoria, Australia. The site has an approximate 144 metre frontage along Red Hill Road and a 306.8 metre long boundary along Prossors Lane. The main entrance into the property is via a double gate entrance on the corner splay. The entrance then leads into an informal car park.
Further in to the site, is the Church, a rectory and a historical dwelling and shedding. Existing vegetation include a strand of cypress trees which assist in providing a visual buffer between the Church and the adjoining properties. In 2008, construction of a hall for the public finished, 66 metres to the north of the Church with a size of 30 metres by 25 metres (378 sq. metre). The external facade is a traditional Byzantine stone white finish to match the Church building.
- Further history of the Australian Monastery
- There were many applications made by the Church to develop and use the property for religious and recreational activities. The first application to develop and use the land was in 1975. The request was to develop an amphitheatre, chapel, toilet facility, exhibition shlter, presbytery and kiosk (this proposal initially included a soccer field, basketball and tennis courts which were later abandoned). The Church claimed it was traditional to combine religious observance and social outings and over 100 objections were submitted to the Council and the application was refused by the Western Port Regional Planning Authority.
- The Tribunal, at the time, was prepared to permit the development of the church and presbytery but not the exhibition shelter. Two subsequent applications were lodged which also included parking for 187 cars, these were also refused and unsuccessfully appealed by the Church to the Planning Appeals Tribunal. Each application attracted over 200 objections.
- A fourth application was lodged in December 1981 for the development and use of the land for a parish church, a toilet block and formalised car parking for 112 cars. In essence, the difference between the fourth application and the previous being the exclusion of the recreational facilities. A Planning Permit was eventually issued on October 1982 and subject to nineteen conditions. The intent of these conditions aimed at restricting the use of the land and to ensure the potential intensity of the use would not become incompatible with the level of amenity enjoyed the the local residents at the time.
- There is a small monastery, situated 3km outside the village of Megalo Horio, on the island of Tilos (Greece), dedicated to the Panagia Kamariani. An annual feast takes places for Panagia Kamariania on the 23rd of August. During this celebration, the locals dance "the dance of the cup" gathering money for the restoration of the other churches on the island.
- Holy Monastery of Panagia Kamariani in Australia