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Abbeys - Monasteries
Church of Panagia Fidiotissa (Church of the Assumption)
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At the Church of the Assumption in Cephalonia island, is hosted the miraculous icon of Virgin Mary "Fidiotissa" (Snakeholder). The name is due to a miracle which is repeated almost every year. From 6 August to 15 August in and out of the monastery appear many small snakes that have not been recorded in some species, known as snakes of Virgin Mary. The snakes multiply more and more until the eve of the Assumption and disappear immediately after the end of the feast.

According to tradition, the villagers saw a burning tree at the place where the church stands today. When villagers reached the spot, they saw the tree completely burnt and an image of the Virgin untouched by the flames, resting on it. A monastery was built on the specific place hosting the miraculous image. The nuns who lived in it saw one day pirates who approached the monastery in order to loot it. They prayed to Virgin Mary and asked for help and protection. Then a miracle happened. The monastery was surrounded by hundreds of snakes from which the pirates were afraid and fled.

During August you can see the snakes invading the monastery and wander among the faithful in the pews and shrines, the image of Virgin Mary and the Gospel. It is a remarkable fact that will surely impress you and a good reason to choose to spend the 15th of August at the island of Kefalonia.