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Rare Mount Athos icon at Athens Cathedral for two weeks

 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).