CORFU, KERKIRA,GREECE                                                                                                                  Corfu45

Situated between the heel of Italy and the west coast of mainland of Greece, CORFU was one of the first Greek Islands to attract mass tourism in the 1960s. Much of the Island still consists of olive groves, mountain of woodland. It is also thought to have been the model for Prospero’s and Miranda’s place of exile in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”. The capital, Kerkira (Korfu) Town, was renovated for an EU summit in 1994 and is now one of the most elegant island capitals in the whole Greece. Although many of its finest buildings were destroyed by nazi bombes in World War II, two massive forts, the sixteenth century church of Ayios Spyridhon and buildings dating from French and British administration remain intact. As the island’s major port of entry by ferry plane, Corfu is the historic center, and a town not to be missed.

TRUTH # 1.

We, four of us, hanging around Old Port and Old Town Pala Pli passed by many sights of attraction: Palace of St Michael and St. George, Museum of Isiatic Art, Panoyla Mandrakna. We turned in different narrow streets and lanes and found ourselves in front of the hill leading to Spyridhon square and St. Spyridhon’s Church. Lara told us a lot about this particular Orthodox church how one of her new acquaintances said wonderful words of St. Spyridhon in Corfu, who helped her in everyday life once when she was selling her apartment, and second time too. How he takes the people’s troubles for himself and then walks on foot to bring the resolution for their difficulties in their lives, health wise or casually. We came into this church full of big Corfu55expectations and miracles to happen to us.

Meanwhile Janko as usual makes acquainted with the priest who immediately introduced him to the priest speaking English. That was Father Artemiy, he said that we could call him simply Farther Art. It became to be that his brother lives in Ontario, and himself he visited Canada many times. “How do you find Canada?” he asked me.”A peaceful country”. “How can the people live in Corfu, and maybe in the other countries with low income?” he asked as if addressing to himself because I did not answer.”Did you see the coffin of St. Spyridhon open?” he asked. “No”, we answered in chorus. “In ten minutes I will do it for you. Be ready.” And he gave us the tiny envelopes with small pieces of St. Spyridhon’s shoes which we need to keep to ourselves It means St.Spyridhon is protecting you everywhere and always. A few minutes later some people approached Father Art and kissed his hand to ask for blessing. So did I, and then Gleb followed me suit. Father Art said to Gleb: “God bless you”, and proceeded to the other room where the relics of St. Spyridhon lay. Father Art opened the coffin of St. Spyridhon and to our eyes was open such a brilliant picture: to the right the beautiful sparkling shoes were seen, and everybody has to kiss his embroidered with gems slippers, then kiss the coffin, and at the chest level one can see the relics of a crooked man with  his bent hands as if in prayer that was preserved,Saint Spyridhon’s body for observation as if he were alive. The story behind it is that he had taken the grieves and sorrows  of the people who came to visit with him so deeply and seriously that he trotted everywhere they mentioned their addresses to help them out. So we left our names too. We believe that St. Spyridhon will protect us and our families in future and now. That is why his shoes were worn out very quickly and were substituted with the new ones often, and those little envelopes with the pieces of St. Spyridhon’s shoes had a specific meaning to us who trust in Spyridhon. God bless us and you, my readers,  in our and your journeys and lives.

Take a look at slide show “Corfu, Greece”.                     

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