On the Road to Perachora
SCHINOS (ancient oenoe)
the center of Loutraki stands the imposing church of
Our Lady, an unshakeable pillar of the faith of the Éïca1 people.
Inside is kept a miraculous icon of Our Lady, with an interesting history
The icon once belonged to a lady called Maria who was visiting continuously Loutraki on his holidays in the 1920s. She stayed in the house of an old lady called Maria Sokou - the two women had become friends- to whom she gave an icon of Our Lady, which she had brought to Greece from Jerusalem. The icon, measuring 57 cm. by 49 cm., shows Our Lady as a young woman, holding the divine infant. The donor of the icon died as she had predicted - three weeks later, but Maria Sokou kept the precious gift, which had the property of instilling hope and consolation in all those who sought the succor of Our Lady: Countless miracles were attributed to the icon, and its renown soon spread beyond Loutraki. In 1928, the foundations were laid to the first church dedicated to Our Lady in which the icon was housed, but it soon proved too small for the hosts of pilgrims and thus a new and larger church was built in 1960.
The new church, which we see today, is a three-aisled basilica with an octagonal dome. There are the wooden screen and the carved wooden iconostasis from the church of 1928, and the paintings are the work of Ê. Yeorgakopoulos and D. Soukaras (1966). The church of Our Lady 'Yatrissa' holds its feast on 8 September; on the previous day, the icon was carried in procession round the town, with the participation of ecclesiastical, civil and military authorities from a11 over Greece.