From today until the 15th of August go to Kefalonia the snakes of Our Lady!

It is a rare to unique event that happens on specific days each year, attracting hundreds if not thousands of faithful but also skeptics who rush to see the dozens of Virgin Mary snakes with their own eyes.


A unique miraculous event takes place at the Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos in the village of Markopoulo in southern Kefalonia, 25 km from Argostoli. every year, from today until the 15th of August, which the inhabitants have linked to the image of Our Lady.

On the overgrown slope where the village is built, the miracle associated with the image of the Virgin Mary happened many years ago.

It appears that a tree wrapped in flames led residents to believe that a forest fire had broken out. But when they got to the point, they saw the miraculous event.

Although the tree had been burned to its root, it was resting on the icon of the Virgin Mary, which the fire had not even touched.

Residents full of emotion, after worshiping the image, carried it to the village church, where the rest had the opportunity to worship it. The next morning, however, and while visitors were crowding, the picture was missing.

Finally, after the faithful mobilized the image was restored to its original position. It was again located at the root of the burnt tree. The icon of the Virgin Mary returned to the church, where she was locked. But the same thing happened three more times.

The image disappeared and was again on the burnt tree. This fact made the inhabitants believe that it was the will of the Virgin Mary to be there, so they built a church on the spot and placed Her image there.

The snakes

Later a female monastery was built in the area, whose nuns took care of the image. One day as pirate ships approached and pirates headed towards the Monastery to plunder it, the nuns prayed to the Virgin Mary to protect the monastery itself.

Then the miracle happened. The monastery was surrounded by snakes that led the pirates to flee. This was considered a sign by Our Lady. Thus the nuns and the monastery were saved.

Since then, snakes have appeared every year, even inside the church (even hanging on pictures, candles or stables), departing on August 15th.

If the snakes do not show up for a year, something bad is happening to the island, such as in 1940 and 1953, when the island was hit by earthquakes. None of the experts who have examined snakes can rank them in any of the known species.

They are gray, slender and do not exceed one meter in length. Their skin is velvety and on the head, like the tip of their tongue, forms a small cross.

As is widely known, snakes are considered miraculous and harmless, so the faithful touch them fearlessly. They are also one of the main reasons one visits the island on the 15th of August.

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