Panayiopoula Church, Corfu
Panayiopoula Church, Corfu

February

At the end of January, we celebrated those three great Hierarchs, Saints Basil, Chrysostomos and Gregory, the protectors of learning, whose writings may be difficult for those with no theology, but are the basis of the thousands of books circulating. Earlier we said for those trying to perfect their Love for Christ, we can get ahead quite well, personally, one on one, leaving heavy reading for another day. Too many books, much ink wasted. Solomon said: “There is no end to books, and they exhaust us.” Theologians write, basing their content on the Fathers, whilst each book enhances their vita curriculum. Frankly there are about five crucial books that we should study, all at the Holy Metochi to browse through. Some refuse to read, lacking experience. Don’t be ashamed. The Lord gifted some of us with strength, others with dexterity or intelligence. To ignore your gift is unacceptable so endure and succeed. Every person has their role in life and fits into society. Being a personal effort, each of us has a personal reason to want real access to the center of Christianity, to Christ Himself, with training, with rehearsals, with guidance, support, we can progress. Your spiritual Elder, your confessor should help. These aged men, tired, may brush you off with little personal help. Don’t give up.  Chase your goal, find the source that suits you for guidance and keep at it. After baptism we know freedom. We can choose to attend a church where we feel comfortable, to choose an Elder with whom we click. Note this. Every day you must read a little from Scripture. Start at Matthew’s description of the Birth of Christ. (Mat 1, 18.) Also, every night pray just as it comes to you. Long, belaboured ‘methods’ of praying are for ascetics. Even if you just call out “Help Lord”, from your heart, it is better than no call to Jesus. Call “Thy will be done”. Time to start, the Holy Metochi Panayiopoula can help. Good people can be found anywhere but a good Orthodox Christian is one who has earned his way ‘by the sweat of his brow’ and who puts Christ first in thoughts and deeds. Give and take, isn’t it?

Starting the Triodio period this month, with serious theological messages, with fasts and confessions. Triodio is all humility and repentance. Before going for Confession, rake through your brain, what was that ghastly sin that you’ve been hiding so long? Tell this to your Confessor and declare such a thing will never happen again. Telling it, you may become all red in the face, weep tears, in short you will be humiliated. Humbled and repentant.

Time to wish you all Kalo Triodio!

August 23 - Festival of The Odigitria

As at every monastery, so too at the Holy Metochi the celebration of the Saint to whom the monastery is dedicated is the most significant day in the year. 

In the case of the Metochi, our Patroness is the Holy Virgin and Mother of God, the Odigitria, who in this area is called the Panayiopoula. All year in our thoughts and prayers we call to  her to bestow her grace on us.

The 23rd of August is the Return Feast of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, the 9th day, and worshippers venerate a small icon of the Dormition, showing the All-Holy settled on her deathbed surrounded by apostles, hierarchs and angels.

Leading up to the day the church is scrubbed, polished and decorated. The Altar is covered with a richly embroidered cloth only used for this festival, flowers fill every corner and rows of flags are strung up and down the street. The  beloved and grace-filled icon of the Panayiopoula is framed in priceless handmade lace.

Celebrating the Panagia Odigitria

The church which so many describe as having a 'soul' is very small, so chairs outside in the quiet street soon fill up with locals and some from further away.

Each Service is officiated by the Hegumen of the Holy Monastery Platytera.

'All generations shall call me blessed'  Luke 1, 48. That is why we call and pray for her help, our Ever-Virgin Mother. All Holy Theotokos intercede for us.

The church can be contacted by writing to PO Box 532, Corfu, 49100 Greece or by email at info@corfu-odigitria.com.


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