Agios Spyridon (Saint Spyridon)

 

 

At the end of the northern part of the beach, a picturesque bridge, leads to the small island on which the church of Saint Spyridon is built. Next to the temple is a ruined windmill. The bridge was built around 1954-1955. Before the construction of the bridge, the villagers used to walk standing from one rock to another to go to the church.

The church of Saint Spyridon was built on the initiative of the family of Grigorakides from Mani in 1858 and was renovated in 1862.

In the temple -made of stone from Malta- there are the icons of Virgin Mary, of Jesus Christ, of St. John the Baptist (1870), of Saint Spyridon, of the Archangels (1882) and of St. John the Theologian (1882). In the Sanctuary of the Temple, a picture is depicted with representations of many saints (in 5 zones) of the 18th century folk style and a large icon of Saint Spyridon. An icon of St. George (1.60 x 0.775 m.) is of historical interest: It was painted in Asia Minor in 1921 from where it has been "rescued...as a memento of abandonment of Asia Minor", as inscribed on the inscription.

It is said that the Saint himself imposed his presence on the island and the exact position where the church should be built. The story is as follows: "The church of Saint Spyridon would be built in a different place and not on the island today, and it would be called Saint Nicholas who is the patron saint of seamen and fishermen. An old man appeared before the man who was responsible for the construction and pointed the island as the right place for the church. The man replied that it was difficult to do so, since there was no bridge yet and it would be difficult to carry the materials. For three times, the old man did appear repeating the same request. The man asked him who he was and the old man replied that he was Saint Spyridon. So the church was built at this point and took his name. Its construction began in 1850 and was finished in 1858. It was inaugurated on the 9th of July and Saint Spyridon became the patron saint of Elafonisos.

Every year, on this day, Elafonisos celebrates the anniversary of the inauguration of the Holy Church of St. Spyridon.

 

 

Sources

Mentis, Sp. Konstantinos, under publication, Cultural Economy and Sociology of Cultural Tourism, University and Culture Publications of Smigopelagos

Mentis, K., 1994, S. Peloponnesus and its “smigopelaga” islands. - Il Peloponneso meridionale e le sue isole “smigopelaga”, Elafonisos: Library of Elafonisos/Bibliotheca di Elafonisos

High School of Elafonisos, School Year 2011-2012, Stories of Elafonisos (Myths and beliefs about the place names of our island)

http://elafonisos.gov.gr

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