Panayiopoula Church, Corfu
Panayiopoula Church, Corfu


An interesting month ahead with some celebrations for cherished saints, with half way through the Sarakosti (Pre-Lent) fast, with Serious reading of the Triodio book, taking us to Easter Saturday, preparing us for Holy Easter. The Triodio was basically formed by the monks at the Stoudio Monastery. You have found now the successful recipes for the fasting period, enjoying olives and halva, tahini and powdered milk for your coffee. The Triodio is so beautiful to read, and this month you can read about the veneration of the Cross, about St.Mary of Egypt, about the compiler of that essential book St. John of the Ladder. This prized book guides us to the virtues, shows how to be rid of vices, through 30 steps. Most of you have been to the Friday evening services of the Greetings to the Panagia. An easy Service with central icon of the Panagia and fine troparia.

When thinking of the Holy Cross we remember St. Barbara and her tracing of the cross on her marble wall. Also St. Nina who awoke after a vision with a cross in her hands from the Panagia. St. Matrona of Moscow, with a dent in her forehead from innumerable signs of the cross - 2 April is her day. Difficult now because of Easter week, difficult then when Matrona had to flee the Russian officials - when isn’t it difficult in Russia, yet Matrona is so beloved and people flock to her holy relics. St Mary of Egypt is celebrated on 1 April and again on the fifth Sunday of the Fast. Her story has become known to all, with devout repentance she lived 47 years in the desert, no food, no clothes, no companion, yet she was untroubled and cared for by the heavens.

On 12 April we celebrate Saint Acacios who was the austere saint who founded the famous Skete Kaysokalybia. This was the spiritual home of our recent much loved Saint Porfyrios, who after years in busy noisy Athens, and already suffering bad health insisted on returning to his cell of junior years. This was also the skete of Saint Maximos who was so modest that he burnt his huts to keep people away. St Acacios founded this Skete, found water, lived a fearsome life, eating sparsely like grinding stone for pretend flour. Now at the Skete, in beautiful surroundings, with treacherous paths to take in an inhospitable area of Mt. Athos, there are many admirable Elders. Youngsters going there can visit the cave of St. Acacios, the cave of St. Maximos, and visit the grave of St. Porfyrios.

So April passes and the Easter Holy Week starts with Palm Sunday on 28 April and time to wish you all Happy Easter!

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

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