Enthroned Icon of ‘Panagia tou Harou’, St Vasilios Church
Panagia tou Harou is the name of the unique icon (above) which depicts the Virgin Mary cradling the crucified Christ, rather than the Christ child, hence its name (‘haros’ in Greek means ‘death’). This icon is found in the church of St. John the Theologian, Leipsoi (Greece). The annual commemoration of the icon takes place on August 23 when the island of Leipsoi fills with pilgrims from all over the Dodecanese group of islands, to witness the procession of the icon around the entire island and see the annual blossoming of the dead bouquet of lilies on the icon.
In the 1940s, a lady was praying to the ‘Panagia tou Harou’ icon. Her prayers were answered, and in gratitude she placed a simple bouquet of lilies on the icon. These lilies withered but remained on the icon. In the following year, at the leave-taking of the feast of the Dormition (August 23), these lilies blossomed again and gave off a fragrance.
Since then, this miracle occurs annually on the day of the feast.
We are very blessed at St Vasilios to have the enthroned icon of Panagia tou Harou, (below), which was generously donated by a family from our parish in 2013. The Church commemorates the Feast Day of Panagia tou Harou every year on August 23.