==Revelation of the Life-Giving Spring==
[[Image:Saint Mary Of The Spring.jpg|right|thumb|The [[w:Holy well|Holy well]] (Hagiasma) of the Church of the Life Giving Font (Istanbul).]]
There are two accounts extant concerning the revelation of the Life-Giving Font.<br>
:"Emperor Leo, go into the deepest part of the woods, and you will find water there. Take some of the cloudy water in your hands and give it to the blind man to drink. Then take the clay and put it on his eyes. Then you shall know who I am."<ref name="OCA">OCA - Feasts and Saints. [http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsLife.asp?FSID=32 Bright Friday. The Life Giving Spring of the Mother of God].</ref>
The same voice added that she had chosen that very place to be worshiped and prophesied that he would one day receive the crown to the empire. Leo followed her order and at once the blind man recovered his eyesight. After his accession to the throne, the Emperor erected a magnificent church on this place, and the water continued to work miraculous cures. Therefore, it was called "The Life-Giving Spring."
==Vicissitudes of the Church==
In its history, the fountain had been destroyed and then rebuilt on many occasions, at the request of the Virgin Mother.
In the 15th century, the city of Constantinople fell into the hands of the Muslims. The [[w:Church of St. Mary of the Spring (Istanbul)|Church of the Life-giving Spring]] was destroyed, and its building materials were used to construct the [[w:Bayezid II Mosque|Bayezid II Mosque]] for the Sultan. The church site was covered with earth and crushed stone, so that the very foundations of the church disappeared from sight. The beautiful surrounding areas were turned into a Muslim cemetery. A Turkish sentinel, placed at the ruins of the church, forbade Christians not only to gather at the site, but even to approach there.
Little by little, the strictness of this ban eased, and Christians were permitted to build a small church there. Twenty-five steps led down into the chapel, which had a window in the roof to let the light in. The holy Spring was still there, surrounded by a railing.
However after the Greek War of Independence in 1821, even this little chapel was destroyed, and the Spring was buried under the rubble.
Once again Christians cleaned up the ruins, reopened the spring, and once again drew water from it. Even upon these shards of the former magnificent holy structure, the Theotokos, as before, granted hearings through her grace. Later, among the broken pieces in one of the windows was found, already half-rotted away through time and dampness, a panel on which were recorded ten miracles which occurred at the Life-giving Spring during the period 1824-1829.
[[Image:Procession-Feast of Zoodohos Pigi-Arcadia,Greece-1950s.jpg|thumb|right|Procession on the [[feast day]] of Panagia the Life-giving Font in the village of Kastri, [[w:Arcadia|Arcadia]], Greece, ca.1959, on [[w:Bright Friday|Bright Friday]].]]
During the reign of Sultan [[w:Mahmud II|Mahmoud II]], the Orthodox received a measure of freedom to conduct religious services. They used it to erect, for the third time, a church above the Life-giving Spring, with work beginning in July of 1833. While workmen were clearing the ground, they uncovered the foundations of the earlier church. The Sultan allowed them to build not just a chapel, but a new and beautiful church on the foundations of the old one. Construction began on September 14, 1833, and was completed on December 30, 1834.
On February 2, 1835, with great pomp, the Ecumenical Patriarch [[Constantius II of Constantinople|Constantine]], celebrating with 20 bishops and an enormous flood of the faithful, [[Consecration of a church|consecrated the church]] which stands to this day,
dedicating it to the Most Holy [[Theotokos]].
Nearby was built a hospital and alms-house. Even the Muslims spoke with great respect of the Life-giving Spring, and of the [[Theotokos]], who through it pours out her grace-filled power. "Great among women Holy Mary" is how they refer to the Most Holy Virgin. The water from the Life-giving Spring they call the "water of Holy Mary."
On September 6, 1955, the church was destroyed again during the [[w:Istanbul Pogrom|Istanbul Pogrom]]. Another small chapel has been rebuilt on the site, but the church has not yet been restored to its former size. The spring still flows to this day and is considered by the faithful to have [[w:Thaumaturgy|wonderworking]] properties.
The fish in this pool, it is said, are descended from the fishes that miraculously jumped out of the frying-pan and into this spring ... (NOTE - research to find this story in more detail).
==List of Churches and Monasteries==
The Life-Giving Spring gave origin to many churches and monasteries bearing the same name in the Greek world. Most of them were erected after the end of the Byzantine Empire.
* [http://www.zoodohospigi.gr/ The Life-Giving Spring] Acadimias, Athens
* [http://www.theotokos-lifegiving-spring.org/ Theotokos of the Life-Giving Spring Russian Orthodox Mission] -- Bryan, Texas
* Original monastery in Constantinople.
* [http://www.malf.net/spring.htm Monastery of the Theotokos the Life-Giving Spring] -- Dunlap, California.
* Monastery of the Life-Giving Spring -- [http://hellas.teipir.gr/thesis/pellana/greek/kastrig.htm Kastri], [[w:Pellana|Pellana]] municipality, [[w:Laconia|Laconia]] prefecture, Greece.<ref group="note">(In Greek: ΙΕΡΑ ΜΟΝΗ ΖΩΟΔΟΧΟΥ ΠΗΓΗΣ, Καστρί, Καστόρειο, 23059, ΛΑΚΩΝΙΑΣ, 2731057238.)</ref>
*[[Church of the Life-Giving Font of the Theotokos (Istanbul)]]