Stickers with icons of The Mother of God and saints in the center. Icons are sourounded by Archangels and the words Άγιον Όρος — Mount Athos.
Life-giving Spring or Life-giving Font is a holy spring found in Constantinople, not far from the Golden Gate. This was the site of the emperor's summer residence. The Mother of God is called the Life-giving Spring, because She accepted into her womb our Lord Jesus Christ who is life itself.
There are two prevailing legends regarding the discovery of the spring, according to which two different emperors discovered this sanctuary after the miracle revealed to them. However, we can say with certainty that in the 6th century A.D. the Church of the Life-giving Spring already existed.
in the 14th century A.D., Nicephorus Callistus has listed the great miracles of this holy place.
Today in the courtyard of the Life-giving Spring there are tombs of the Ecumenical Patriarchs. The sacred spring is a marble reservoir located in the lower level of the temple. A mosaic image of the icon is kept in the monastery of Chora.
The celebration of the renewal of the Church of the Life-giving Spring and the commemoration of the great miracles that occurred in the temple, takes place on the Friday of Bright Week, in memory of the consecration of the Church by Emperor Leo.
The temple is also known as the monastery of Balikli (translated from Turkish as "fishy"). According to tradition, on May 23, 1453 A.D a monk was frying fish near the spring when someone brought him news of the fall of Constantinople. The monk replied that only if the fish he was frying left the pan and fell into the spring would he believe this could have happened. And indeed, the fish came to life and fell into the holy water spring. To this day there are fish in the spring that have dark marks on their sides, as if they had been fried.
The icon of the Theotokos with the seven swords is also called “The Prophecy of Symeon the Righteous” or “the Softener of Evil Hearts” and depicts the Mother of God with four swords to her left and three to her right. This is based on the prophecy of Saint Symeon the God-Bearer, who foretold the pain that the Mother of God would suffer in being separated from her beloved Son.
This icon used to be located in the bell tower of a church near the river Tosin. However, a man suffering many illnesses named Kantikov saw in a dream that he needed to find this icon and pray before it if he wished to become well. After much searching, Kantikov found the icon, cleaned it, venerated it and was healed. From that time, it has been considered a miracle-working icon. In addition, this icon is said to have streamed with tears on September 11, 2001 when the Twin Towers collapsed. Its feast day is the 13th of August.
Saint Spyridon, Bishop of Trimythous is the patron saint of Piraeus and the island of Corfu in Greece. Because of the great miracle he performed at the First Council of Nicaea in 325, he is considered the patron saint of pottery. At the Council, there was a heated dispute about the divinity of Jesus Christ and the trinity of God. Bishop Spyridon argued in support of this trinity. When it was his turn to speak, he took a clay brick in his hands, after which, crossing himself, he said:
"In the name of the Father", at which point a flame burst forth from the clay;
"And of the Son", and water began to drip from the brick;
"And of the Holy Spirit", after which only dry clay remained in his hands.
Those present were shocked and astonished. Spyridon explained that just as fire, water, and clay are three elements that make up one brick, so the Holy Trinity is God, one in Three Persons. And so, the participation of the Bishop of Trimythous contributed to the establishment of truth at the Ecumenical Council.
Shoemakers also venerate Saint Spyridon, for the shoes of the saint are a great shrine.
Spyridon of Trimythous was born in 270 AD in the Cyprus village of Assia (Askia), in a fairly prosperous family of shepherds who carried on the family business.
He was a simple, kind man, always distinguished by his love for his neighbor. On Sundays and holidays, Spyridon often took the fellow shepherds to church and then explained to them the Gospel or some of the apostolic passages. The saint always protected widows and orphans.
Spyridon married a pious woman, and they had a daughter, Irini. Soon, however, his wife died. But even after this grievous loss Spyridon did not fall into despondency, but continued to serve God by his good deeds. The people loved and respected him so much that he was elected bishop of Trimythous in Cyprus. By the grace of God, he manifested many miracles there.
The imperishable relics of the saint, which to this day retain the weight and temperature of a living human body, are kept on the island of Corfu. Even the saint's shoes wear out periodically; it is believed that he comes out of his shrine to help all who turn to him. Therefore, his shoes are regularly changed, and the old, worn-out ones are cut into small pieces and distributed to the faithful.
Saint Paisios the Athonite (1924-1994) is one of the most revered and beloved monks of twentieth-century Greece. The saint's entire life is a vivid example of sacrifice, concern for one's neighbor, and truly Christian love and patience. Many of our contemporaries have witnessed numerous miracles and prophecies that the saint performed during his lifetime.
Paisios was born in Cappadocia (Asia Minor) under the name of Arsenios. During the first months of his life, the family moved to Greece, settling for a year and a half on the island of Corfu. Then Arsenios' family moved to Igoumenitsa, and after that to Konitsa, where they settled.
Arsenios began to show a love for God and a predilection for the Holy Scriptures from a young age. He also sought solitude, which was the first prerequisite for his future monastic life. He was drafted into the army in 1945. Later, his fellow servicemen told of Arsenios' incredible sacrifice. He never refused anyone and always volunteered at the front line instead of soldiers who had families and children. His fellow servicemen also recalled the miracles the saint had already performed at the time: not once had he miraculously saved himself and his comrades from enemy bullets.
Immediately after his discharge from the army, the young man went to the Holy Mountain, where he received his first monastic name, Averkios. Among the brethren he was distinguished by his great love and understanding for the others, being a model of humility and obedience. In 1956, Averkios received the minor monastic schema, after which he was finally given the name that is now familiar to believers throughout the world - Paisios.
The holy elder passed away on July 12, 1994 after a long illness. The question of his canonization had been of concern to many believers since his death, for witnesses to the many miracles Paisios had manifested live to this day. Finally, on January 13, 2015, by a unanimous decision of the members of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, it was decided to canonize the schemamonk Paisios the Athonite as a saint.
The tomb of the saint is located at Saint John the Theologian monastery in Souroti, where thousands of pilgrims come to kneel at the last earthly resting place of St. Paisios.