Axion Esti’ icon from Mt. Athos at Athens Cathedral for two weeks
Πηγή Φωτογραφίας: amna.gr
A rare Greek icon named “Axion Esti” from the all-male monastic community of Mt. Athos was transported on Wednesday to Athens, where it was welcomed with honors accorded a head of state and by throngs of people.
The Axion Esti, which rarely leaves Mt. Athos, was welcomed at the Athens Cathedral by Archbiship Hieronymos of Athens and All Greece, who had requested the action on the occasion of the bicentennial of the Greek Revolution in 1821. The event had been postponed due to the coronavirus epidemic.
The Byzantine-era icon depicts the Virgin Mary with the infant Jesus, and is covered in silver on all but the faces, and is an object of great veneration associated with several miracles including its discovery. The Axion Esti is considered the rarest object at Mt. Athos.
In Athens for a two-week period of pilgrimage, the icon has been set up at the Athens Cathedral and is visitable by the public. The cathedral will also hold special liturgies on the occasion, including a morning service and an evening prayer. In addition, a more extensive liturgy led by prelates will be held on Sunday (May 7), Wednesday (May 10, mid-Pentecost), and Sunday (May 14).
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis received at Maximos Mansion Mt. Athos Governor Athanassios Martinos and representatives of the holy community who are accompanying the icon to Athens.