Feast Day: July 23rd
The Life of Saint Pelagia: The purity of her Soul, the Holiness of her life, her self-denial and her life of Prayer and desire for redemption contributed to the Nun Pelagia becoming a “chosen vessel” of the Theotokos, in order to discover her Miraculous Icon…
Apolytikion: Blamelessly you lived with much self-control and ascetic labour and fervent love, God-possessed Pelagia. Wherefore again and again you saw the Theotokos, disclosing to you the discovery of her Icon. Therefore intercede, Venerable Mother, on behalf of those who honour you.
Saint Pelagia was raised in a family who lived a Holy way of life. When she was 12 years old, Pelagia recognised a longing in herself to devote her life to Christ. At the age of 15 she became a Novice and was soon Tonsured a Nun and given the same name as her fellow Nun and Aunty, Pelagia.
Saint Pelagia lived her life in Prayer, fasting and purity of Soul. She worked many Miracles through the Grace of God and Panagia.
Below are some photos of the Monastic Cell Saint Pelagia lived in. This is where she Prayed, fasted, struggled against temptations, and where Our Most Holy Mother of God appeared to her. You can also see the Abbess Eupraxia Praying in the Cell of Saint Pelagia, in front of the Holy Relic of Saint Pelagia’s blessed head.
At the age of 73 years old, Saint Pelagia saw Our Most Holy Theotokos in a light brighter than the sun. Our Panagia spoke to Saint Pelagia, asking for her help to organise for a reconstruction of a nearby Church and to find her Holy Icon. Her great humility led Saint Pelagia to question the Divine nature of the appearance of Panagia, and she hesitated thinking “Who am I, to help the Lady of the Angels?”. Saint Pelagia asked for whoever was in this Divine Vision to name themself, and Our Panagia answered “Evangelistria, people call me. I announce great joy to the Earth.” Crying out, “Glory to the Divine Will of Our Lord.”, Saint Pelagia ran to tell her fellow Nuns about all that happened during her conversations with Our Panagia over three different times; July 9th, July 16th and July 23 of the year 1822.
O people of Tinos and all faithful, come and acclaim with Hymns Our Protectress; the All-Venerable Icon of the Pure Mother of God is found to be a source of healing for us. Let us cry to her: Rejoice, O our glory and boast. Rejoice, thou who hast delivered mankind from the ancient curse.
With the Blessing of her Sisterhood, Saint Pelagia left the Monastery to help organise the Divine Will of God. Through discussions, it was remembered that a Holy Icon was buried in the ground at the ruins of the Church. Excavations began and the Church was reconstruced by the help of all the Christians of Tinos. Some workers found two pieces of wood, and putting them together they saw it was the most beautiful Icon of Archangel Gabriel Announcing the news of the Incarnation to Panagia.
This Holy Icon wrought Miracles to all, and the most magnificant Church was built. Our Panagia had streams of pilgrims coming to help with the reconstruction of the Holy Church and to Venerate the Holy Icon, and “Not one pilgrim went away without help from the Holy Virgin”, and today the Icon is covered with jewellery offerings of thanksgiving from people Our Panagia helped. Today we have a beautiful Holy Tradition where the faithful crawl on their hands and knees along the road leading up to the Holy Monastery, as an offering to Panagia asking for her Prayers.
Below is a photo of a portion of the Holy Relics of Saint Pelagia.