With so many exciting destinations on our Travel Days around Greece, this will be a summer you will never forget - the best summer of your life! To learn more about the travel locations we visit while at Ionian Village, please click from a variety of links below and view the video.
Kalavrita and Mega Spilaion
Bartholomio & Glyfa
The Monastery of Panagia Eleousa
The Monastery of Panagia Eleousa dates back to approximately 800 AD when a miracle-working icon of the Theotokos was discovered. During the centuries of iconoclasm, many icons were hidden in order to avoid being destroyed. After the end of iconoclasm, many of these icons were miraculously rediscovered. The icon of Panagia Eleousa, the icon of the Directress at Mega Spilaion, and the icon of the Panagia Thalasomaxoussa in the Church of Saint Dionysios at Zakynthos all fall into this tradition. Interestingly, many of the rediscovered icons were of the Theotokos, and the tradition of her “reappearing” icons is often referred to as “Panagia Faneromeni,” or the “appearing Panagia.”
A shepherd with his goats found the icon of Panagia Eleousa in a cave in the rural area surrounding Glyfa. The cave contains a spring of fresh water that is considered to be agiasmo as both the icon itself and the holy water have been responsible for many miracles. Even though the area surrounding Glyfa has no natural springs with potable drinking water (the local population digs deep wells to find suitable water), the water that springs forth from the cave where the Panagia Eleousa was found is completely pure.
The structure of the Monastery as it exists today dates back to the 13th century. Parts of it were built at the same time as Kastro Chlemoutsi, and the big tower in the center of the monastery has a secret underground passage that once led directly to the Kastro in case the monastery ever came under attack.
In the late 20th century, the Monastery housed a small community of nuns and continued to be an important religious site for the local people. Unfortunately, in 1979, the miraculous icon of Panagia Eleousa was stolen. Several years later, the water that flowed from the natural spring in the cave dried up. Sadly, the Monastery closed its doors as it seemed that God’s favor had been withdrawn from the little monastery.
Last year, the Presvytera from the Church of Saint Marina’s in Glyfa found a photograph of the stolen icon of Panagia Eleousa. Under the guidance of Papa Yiorgi who had recently taken over the Monastery in an attempt to reopen its doors, the picture of the icon was installed in the little church. As soon as the icon entered the church, the candles hanging from the ceiling lit by themselves and started swinging. This continued for the entire three hour installation. Shortly after the icon was brought back to the church, the spring in the cave also began to trickle again.