6171Revered icon returned to Greek monastery
- Oct 1, 2006http://tinyurl.com/m57uf
Revered icon returned to Greek monastery
October 1, 2006
ATHENS, Greece --A 700-year-old icon that had been stolen in August was
returned Sunday to a monastery in southern Greece in a ceremony attended by
hundreds of worshippers.
Police last week recovered the revered icon of the Virgin Mary, which has
been credited with healing powers and miracles and was stolen Aug. 18 from
the clifftop convent of Elonas, near the town of Leonidio, some 185 miles
southwest of Athens.
Police found the icon hidden outside a nearby church and arrested one
Romanian man after a five-week investigation.
Public Order Minister Vyron Polydoras said the icon serves as a "shelter
and a sanctuary" for the Greek people.
Every year, thousands of pilgrims visit the icon, which measures 16-by-20
After it was reported stolen, police launched a massive search for the
thief, who authorities said entered the convent with a crowd of
worshippers, hid in the complex and escaped with the icon at night using
ropes to descend the cliff face. Road blocks were set up across the
Peloponnese region of southern Greece and helicopters searched remote areas.
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