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Theotokos Ktitorissa or Vimatarissa - Holy Monastery Vatopedi

    When on one occasion the Arabs raided the Monastery, the deacon-Monk and vematares (the monk in charge of the sanctuary – vema – and, consequently, responsible for the sacred relics and other treasures kept there) managed to hide in the shaft below the altar (an ancient sacrarium), a priceless icon of the Theotokos and a cross, placing before them a burning candle. The Monastery was looted and the monks taken prisoners to Crete. After 70 years, the deacon-monk, who was still alive, was released, and returned to the Monastery. He opened the well and found the icon and the cross upright on the surface of the water, while the candle was still burning.
    The icon is today kept on the synthronon of the sanctuary and is called the “Ktitorissa” (Foundress), perhaps because the finding of it is linked in some way with the building of the Monastery by the three brothers and founders of the Monastery Athanasius, Nicholas and Antony, who were monks there around the end of the 10th century.

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