snakes of the Virgin Mary

The snakes of the Virgin Mary have this year appeared in the village of Markopoulo on the island of Kefalonia, days before the Feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos, on August 15th.

According to reports from Kefaloniapress, the first snake of the Virgin Mary appeared on Monday night at The Church of Panagia Lagouvarda in Markopoulo. Not long after, two snakes appeared in Arginia.

The small snakes which are friendly to people have a characteristic soft skin and the shape of a cross adorning their backs.

Thousands of faithful pilgrims flock to the villages every year to observe the miracle snakes of Panagia that seem to appear from out of nowhere and disappear again after the feast of the Dormition.

The snakes crawl throughout the churches and around the icons of Our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary.

The Church of Panagia Lagouvarda or Panagia Fidousa is the most well-known church of Kefalonia, built on the ruins of an old monastery.

According to history, the snakes of the Virgin Mary have failed to appear twice. The first time in 1940, shortly before the outbreak of World War II and the second time in August 1953, when Kefalonia suffered a tremendously destructive earthquake. Thus, it is believed to be ominous if the snakes do not appear.

Source credit: Orthochristian and John Sanidopoulos

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