Gavalou, Makryneia, Greece, February 17, 2023
The crime occurred at the Holy Monastery of Panagia Katerinou, located just above the town of Gavalou, 175 miles northwest of Athens on Wednesday, February 8. It was noticed by the nuns during the morning service the next day, and they immediately called the police.
The door to the catholicon church was broken, the glass over the miraculous Panagia Katerinou Icon was smashed, and the pious offerings of the faithful had been stolen, reports Romfea.
The perpetrators made away with 10 golden crosses, 25 rings, and two episcopal Panagias, among other items. The faithful make such offerings to wonderworking icons in gratitude for a miraculous healing or some other miracle.
It’s thought that the monastery’s dogs were sprayed with something that made them fall asleep.
After a theft at a nearby cathedral a few years ago, Metropolitan Kosmas of Aetolia ordered that the majority of such value able offerings should be moved from the monasteries and churches to a safe place. Thus, the items that were stolen were only from the last decade.
Panagia Katerinou Monastery sits on the spot where a shepherdess named Katerina was once guided by a Heavenly light and voice to find an icon of the Theotokos. She was ordered by the Theotokos to build an iconostasis there, so passers-by could stop and pray. The later foundation of the monastery is based on this Heavenly revelation.
The monastery has been a spiritual, national, social, and educational center over the centuries.
The video below shows scenes from around the monastery: