Panayiopoula Church, Corfu
Panayiopoula Church, Corfu


At last, we have a month that is full of events in Corfu. Celebrations of Saints, Churches, Bishops, and a realistic awakening to next month, of which we will talk later.

St Catherine is always celebrated on 25 November at the small church of St. Eleftherios, next to the big church of St. Spyridon - opposite is the newly renovated St. Catherine’s church. Some people go to the Metochi of Sina in Athens, with all the tradition and beautiful chanting. In the Sinai the Arabs adore St. Catherine and ask for her help. Her icon shows her as beautiful, noble and composed, next to her wheel of torture, a palm branch, a sword that had beheaded her, and a mystical marriage ring. Catherine means pure. This young woman was lived in the 5th century in Egypt. A cult sprang up about her, believing her holy remains were brought by angels to Mount Sinai. She was educated and able to defend herself when the Emperor sent 50 philosophers to demolish her belief in Christ. In fact, those 50 were so convinced by her words that they all became Christians! Chronia Polla to all those with that beautiful name, and there are plenty of girls here who are Catherines, Kaities and others.

We also celebrate St. Nektarios on 9 November (the name of the Bishop of Corfu). Here, the Bishop serves Holy Communion , then passes holy bread to the congregation, made up of many priests, monastics and plenty of small children showing their love for their “shepherd”. Another Bishop Nektarios, in the Peloponese, is known for his many books. The Saint has inspired many books to be written for Nektarios and they have helped so many, and two books circulate with details of medical problems that the Medicos could not cure, both patients kept their faith and St. Nektarios appeared and bestowed blessed health. St. Nektarios himself had a difficult life with unfair slandering and demeaning orders from his superiors, he sickened and went to hospital in Athens. In a crowded ward, with no special attention, he exercised his humbleness. In Greece we have Bishops with that name, and there are many nuns, Nektarias, in the convents. St.Nektarios travelled around Greece and there are houses in the tiniest of villages where a treasured memento of the saint is kept in the locked show case. St. Nektarios died about 1920. Best wishes to those who celebrate.

On 8 November we celebrate the archangels Michael and Gabriel, plus Rafael. They are well known as the first two appear on the doors of the Holy interior, Michael wearing full armour, a sword killing the dragon at his feet. Many icons of Michael are in the Holy Metochi. Gabriel is a soft, effeminate figure with wings, often carrying a lily. Gabriel means a man of God, a difficult name to live up to. There are many habit wearers on the island with this name. St. Gabriel was the messenger of God and protects those who work in communications. Two famous announcements from Gabriel were the one to Zachariah and the other to Mary ,the Virgin The angel Rafael also wears wings and is often accompanied by a small boy. Tobias is helped by Rafael and together they cure the blind man, so, Rafael is the patron of the blind. Two or three days ago one nun, mother Gabrielle, was made Saint Gabriella. You can read about her amazing life on the internet.

Don’t let us forget Arsenios from Cappadocia. This Saint, closely associated with Corfu, is celebrated on 10 November. What a busy month we have. The book about Arsenios, was written by the well known Saint Paisios who had Arsenios as his confessor. Not to be confused with The Bishop of Corfu with the same name. St. Arsenios died 1924.

Have a good month and get ready for December with all its rich celebrations.

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

website designed and maintained
by hereford web design