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Located near to the island of Patmos, Lipsi -this tiny Aegean gem- has a church of immense importance for Christianity. The name of this church is ”Panagia tou Harou” (“Panagia” means “Holy Mary” and ”haros” means ”death” in Greek). In 1,600 B.C., some monks from Patmos decided to built a monastery to the little island of Lipsi. This church is of Byzantine rhythm and has a dome which is built in a relatively short distance from the floor. Due to this kind of construction, the sunlight hardly enters into the church, creating an even more religious atmosphere.The church is named after an interesting and unique icon, centrally placed inside it, that depicts Holy Mary holding in her arms Jesus upon the cross and not Jesus depicted as an infant.
Through the ages, monastic cells have emptied, but this church became even more popular among worshippers. In 1943, one pious young girl placed some flowers next to the icon that gave this church its name. As time gone by, the flowers withered, but suddenly when August 23rd arrived -that is the day that worshippers celebrate ”Panagia tou Harou”- the flowers flourished all over again. Ever since, the church has become even more famous. Every year, on August 23rd, locals celebrate “Panagia tou Harou” with traditional live music. They sing and dance until morning hours. Also, there is plenty of traditional food! Once in Lipsi or Patmos on August 23rd, do visit this unique, miraculous church and celebrate with the locals all night long!