Kefalonia: From today until the 15th of August, the snakes of the Virgin Mary come out!

A snake has appeared at the church in Markopoulo as announced by Stauros Zapantis via FB yesterday

Lets hope they bring Kefalonia some good fortune for the rest of the year and into next as we all learn to live with covid.


Background information on the snakes of Markopoulo

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

A unique miraculous event occurs at the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin 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 associated with the image of the Virgin Mary.

On the verdant slope where the village is built, the miracle related to the image of the Virgin Mary happened many years ago.

It seems that a tree that was engulfed in flames made the residents believe that a fire had broken out in the forest. But when they got to the point they saw the miraculous event.

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

The residents, full of emotion, after worshiping the icon, took it to the church of the village, where the others had the opportunity to worship it. The next morning, however, while the visitors were numerous, it was found that the image was missing.

Finally, after the mobilization of the faithful, the image was found in its original position. It was again placed at the root of the burned tree. The icon of the Virgin Mary returned to the church, where it was locked. But the same thing happened three more times.

The image was disappearing and was again on the burned tree. This fact made the inhabitants believe that it was the will of the Virgin Mary to be there and that is why they built a church on the spot and placed Her icon there.

The snakes

Later, a nunnery was built in the area, the nuns of which took care of the icon. One day as pirate ships approached and the pirates headed to the Monastery to plunder it, the nuns prayed to the Virgin Mary to protect themselves and the monastery.

Then the miracle happened. The monastery was surrounded by snakes that drove the pirates to flee. This was considered a sign by the Virgin Mary. Thus the nuns and the Monastery were saved.

Since then, snakes appear every year, even inside the church (they even hang from the icons, candelabra or stalls), which depart on the 15th of August.

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

These are gray, thin and their length does not exceed one meter. Their skin is velvety and a small cross forms on their head, as well as the tip of their tongue.

As it is widely known, snakes are considered miraculous and harmless, which is why the faithful touch them without fear. Besides, they are one of the main reasons that someone visits the island on the 15th of August.

Source –

One thought on “Kefalonia: From today until the 15th of August, the snakes of the Virgin Mary come out!

  • January 13, 2022 at 3:28 am

    Hello, this is Carlos, from Colombia, South America. I am planning to visit Kefalonia at the end of June. My daughter loves snakes, and so I am considering to visit Markopoulo to let her know the story of the snakes of the church. I wonder, however, if at that time (end of June) it is possible to see at least one snake there. It would be a great surprise for her.


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