From the evening of the 14th through the day and night of the 15th of August, thousands of pilgrims ascended the Holy Rock of Petra to honor the Panagia—She Who Is All Holy.
There is “something really beautiful”* in being among them.
Six of us set out from Molivos at 7:30 on the 14th to meet in the square of Petra to ascend to the church. Petra was already full of so many pilgrims that police had forbidden traffic in the main square and were directing cars into a nearly full parking lot in a field. When we got out of the car, the two others who came with me and I had a perfect view of the steady stream of pilgrims climbing the rock, which was already lit up in the twilight.
When we found the others, I said that we would climb to the church on the top of the rock where we would light candles and approach the icon of the Panagia to silently pray or express a wish for the coming year. The others followed me through the square into the winding streets lined with stalls and gypsy beggars to the bottom of the rock. While we waited for our turn, we saw the sign advising pilgrims of proper dress (read carefully).
Continue reading “Coming Together to Honor the Mother by Carol P. Christ”