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 eikona panagia axion esti
Photo: AMNA
A rare Greek icon named Axion Esti from the all-male monastic community of Mount Athos was transported on Wednesday to Athens, where it will be exhibited for public veneration over the next two weeks.
The icon, which rarely leaves Mount Athos, was welcomed with honors accorded a head of state at the Athens Cathedral by Archbiship Hieronymos of Athens and All Greece, who had requested the action on the occasion of the bicentennial of the Greek Revolution in 1821. The event had been postponed due to the coronavirus epidemic.
The Byzantine-era icon depicts the Virgin Mary with the infant Jesus, and is covered in silver on all but the faces, and is an object of great veneration. The Axion Esti is considered the rarest object at the monastic community.
The Athens Cathedral will hold special liturgies on the occasion, including a morning service and an evening prayer. In addition, a more extensive liturgy led by prelates will be held on Sunday (May 7), Wednesday (May 10, mid-Pentecost), and Sunday (May 14).

Orthodox Icons
The Sunday of Orthodoxy is the first Sunday of Great Lent. The dominant theme of this Sunday since 843 A.D. is the restoration of the icons. In that year the iconoclastic controversy, which had raged on and off since 726 A.D., was finally laid to rest, and icons and their veneration were restored on the first Sunday in Lent. Ever since, this Sunday has been commemorated as the "Triumph of Orthodoxy."

st nicholas

The Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas, in the center of Manhattan, was destroyed during the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack at the World Trade Center, in New York. The iconic shrine reopened yesterday and it is not only one of the most important Greek Orthodox churches in America but also a cenotaph for the 3,000 souls lost on that day at the World Trade Center. Hellenic Daily News was there since day one with the man behind the ambitious and colossal project of Saint Nicholas' restoration and iconography, Lou Katsos.