This week’s icon of the Theotokos, the Panagia Giatrissa (The All Holy Healer) made itself known relatively recently in modern history.
A midwife named Mary acquired the icon of the Virgin and Child while on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The salesman informed her that this icon was miraculous, and suggested that Mary entrust it to a pious believer who would be willing to leave votive candles and an oil lamp lit constantly.
Returning to Loutraki in Greece in the year 1928, to take advantage of its spring waters, Mary entrusted the icon to her good friend Maria Sokou. Repeating what the salesman told her, Mary also confided to her friend Maria that she would die within twenty days. When Mary did in fact pass away as she had said, the icon fell to Maria Sokou.
Hearing of the icon and its origins, the people of Loutraki raised funds to build a church, named in honor of the icon, the Panagia Giatrissa.
However, the icon’s miracles have not ceased in our time. On Christmas Eve 2014, three thieves entered the church, presumably to steal the silver pieces pilgrims leave as offerings around the icon. However, closed circuit TV footage from security cameras inside the church shows the thieves stop in front of the icon—with one thief doing the Sign of the Cross, before all make a hasty exit!
Click on this link to see the CCTV footage as part of a news report. (Note however, that the commentary is in Greek).
May the Panagia Giatrissa intercede on behalf of her Son for us all!