Ios Panagia Gremiotissa

Built on a conspicuous place, visible from all the cardinal points, the church is dedicated to Virgin Mary (‘Panagia’). The locals called it Panagia Gremiotissa and the legend has it that the miraculous icon travelled on a raft, with a lit vigil light always next to it, which was not blown out by either the winds or the waves, leading the religionists from the Turkish-ruled Crete to the coasts of Ios. Another local tradition wants the icon of Virgin Mary with Christ to be found in the bay of Mylopotas, in the rocks, lit by a vigil light. The residents moved it to the church of Timios Stavros. Miraculously, however, each night the icon was transferred in the place you see it today –and this is how the new church was built in honor of Virgin Mary. Going uphill to the yard of Gremiotissa and further above, to the three chapels that there are on the way to the highest peak of the rock (Agios Nikolaos, Agios Ioannis, Agios Eleftherios), you will understand why the islanders believe that they are constantly under the roof of Virgin Mary.

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