Panagia Katholiki, Kremasti, Rhodes, South Aegean, Greece
On the west side of of Rhodes, a Greek island near the southwestern coast of
Turkey, the town of Kremasti is known for its beach, the Valley of Butterflies
nearby, and the Church of the Assumption, hand-built by the faithful in 1960
near the site of two earlier Orthodox churches. Starting on August 15, the Feast
of the Assumption, and culminating on August 23, Feast of Panagia Katholiki, the
Universal All-Holy One, pilgrims converge on Kremasti from all the islands
around Rhodes. Many bring gifts to lay before the Virgin's icon -- oil, beeswax,
candles, jewelry, fabrics -- or replicas of items prayed for, such as body parts
and money. Inside the church, the sick lie near the image hoping for a cure.
Outside, costumed dancers perform the ancient sword dance. There are vendor
booths and amusements for children. On August 23, naval officers carry the
Virgin's image in procession. This semicircular icon of the 1400s, depicting the
Virgin Mother holding the child in the ancient frontal pose, between angels, is
held to replicate a mural, the "Foundress" icon of Kremasti's church. It
was installed in 1926, after the mural in the church of 1839 had deteriorated.
In 1935, a fire revealed traces of the original mural behind that one. The
Universal All-Holy One has the affectionate nickname Mavromata, the Dark-Eyed
Picture from "Εικόνες
|"Kremasti, Rhodes Greece," Greece Hotel,
| Archimandrite Meliton Mpellou, "Παναγία «Καθολική»
Nikos Nikolaou & Anthony Angelis, eds.
"Tribute to the feast of the All-Holy Universal One in Kremasti,"
from Anastassios Vrontis, The All-Holy Ones of Rhodes,
Rhodes Library, www.rhodeslibrary.gr/info/2004_1/vrontis.html
|Nikos Konstantinidis, "Η
Also commemorated this date:
|1328, Battle of Cassel, northern France. Afterwards, Philippe de Valois
thanked Our Lady for his victory over rebellious Flemish burghers by riding
into Notre-Dame de Paris on horseback. An equestrian statue in the church
commemorates this event.|
|Notre-Dame du Cur, Aurillac, Cantal, Auvergne, France. In the 1720s, the
Confraternity of Our Lady of the Heart at Saint-Géraud Church held a mass
for living members Aug. 15 and for their dead Aug. 23.|
|Panagia Prousiotissa, Karpenisi, Haryana, Central Greece, Greece (All-Holy
One from Bursa). Miraculous icon in monastery on precipice 22 miles from
|Panagia Faneromeni, Steno, Salamis Island, Attica, Greece (All-Holy
|Panagia of Grava, Chora, Patmos, Kalymnos, South Aegean, Greece|
|Panagia Politissa, Livadia, Tilos,
Rhodes, South Aegean, Greece (All-Holy One from Constantinople)|
|Madonna di Guadalupe, Santo Stefano d'Aveto, Genova, Liguria, Italy.
Replica of Mexican Madonna crowned, 1987. Festa Sun. after Aug. 15 or 16.|
|Beata Vergine del Monte Carmelo, Nusco, Avellino, Campania, Italy. Festa
|Virgen de la Poveda, Villa del Prado, Madrid, Spain. Statue crowned, 1998.
Fiestas Easter Monday and Sept. 8.|
|Virgen de la Peña, Añora, Córdoba, Andalucía, Spain (Virgin of the
|Virgen del Buen Suceso, Villaralto, Córdoba, Andalucía, Spain (Virgin of
Good Fortune). Statue found, 1831.|