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Crete, Nomikiana, Festival of Agia Zoni

EVENT INFO

Start Date: 2 August 2024
End Date: 2 August 2024
Nomikiana

EVENT INFO

Start Date: 2 August 2024
End Date: 2 August 2024
The chapel dedicated to both Agia Zoni and Saint George 

In a cave at the foothill of a cliff near Vouvas village in the South of Crete, close to Sfakia, stood the chapel of Saint George, while a small church dedicated to Agia Zoni (the Holy Girdle of the Virgin Mary) was built next to it. Unfortunately, both buildings fell into ruins sometime in the 18th century. However, a new chapel dedicated to both Agia Zoni and Saint George was then rebuilt on that site. The temple still exists today and is considered to possess miraculous powers.

According to tradition, Apostle Thomas was not nearby during the Virgin Mary’s Assumption. Arriving on the scene, he asked that the tombstone be lifted to worship her. Virgin Mary, however, had been taken up into the heavens, leaving behind the Holy Girdle found in her tomb. Apostle Thomas took the Holy Girdle for keeping in Constantinople.

Later, the Girdle of the Virgin Mary was transferred by Konstantinos Romanos Porphyrogennetos, Roman emperor from 905 to 959 A.D., to the church of the Virgin Mary in the region of  Halkopratia close to today’s  Zeynep Sultan Camii, in Constantinople on August 31st. To commemorate this event, an important and unusual festival takes place with open-air cooking and free meals of meat and pilaf.

Today, the Holy Girdle is found in the Vatopedi monastery in Agion Oros. It is considered the second most valuable relic of Orthodox Christianity after the Holy Cross.

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