Various countries have different patrons, and Greece is no exception. Seeing as how rich the Greek tradition and history are, it comes as no surprise that there is more than just one patron saint of Greece. In this text, we’ll talk about the most popular patrons of this beautiful Mediterranean country and, more specifically, the patrons of Mykonos.
Patrons are present in many cultures – they represent guardians who keep certain groups safe and provide them prosperity, peace, and health. They are basically guardian angels. These saints are chosen to protect a particular nation, region, profession, or even family.
The Greek nation has many saints that are considered their national patrons, starting from St. Nikolaos and St. Mary, who Greeks often refer to as Panagia. Other notable patrons of this beautiful Mediterranean country include St. George, St. Andrew, and St. Paul. Of course, various regions of the country have their own patrons.
We all know how history and the Orthodox faith are important to the Greek people. An Orthodox church can be found in every corner of the country – for example, Mykonos has many of them, even though it’s not a big island.
So, if you’re headed to this fantastic party island, don’t think that you won’t be able to learn a bit about the culture and Myconian history. Before you book one of the best luxury villas in Mykonos for your upcoming vacation, why not learn a bit about the Greek faith and its saints?
Saint Nicholas, or Saint Nikolaos, is considered to be the patron of Greece. He is known as the protector of sailors and fishermen, which is why people honor him by decorating small fishing boats. These wooden boats are a holiday symbol for St. Nicholas Day – December 6. This is the time when Christmas preparations begin.
Small wooden boats are usually placed in homes near fireplaces, and they must point to the center of a home – never towards the exit. Greeks also place these little Christmas boats in the town squares or in the ports. This is especially popular on the islands, and Mykonos is no exception.
Myconian mythology says that St. Nicholas came here in 500 AD with many gifts to celebrate his day and that he’s been returning every year since then to bless the churches with the golden coin. Locals honor him by giving the children gifts on the holiday that’s dedicated to him. You can find St. Nikolaos church from the 4th century in the old port in Mykonos town.
St. Artemios is one of the rare patrons who were born in the Middle Ages – he’s considered to be from the early 7th century, and he’s of Armenian descent. St. Artemios was an extraordinary military commander who served the Byzantine empire, and his military career began when he was the age of 12. Eventually, he retired from the military and went to Mount Sion to become a monastic.
Artemios was decapitated for his religious beliefs, and he was canonized in 2000. He is known for his healing abilities, and Greeks celebrate him on October 20. If you find yourself in Mykonos in October, you will get to experience the amazing festivities held in Chora, the main town located on the western coast.
There is usually a horse-riding event in the old port, and you should also expect some music and traditional Greek food – whether you’re interested in religion or not, don’t skip out on the opportunity to try some great Myconian food and feel the festive atmosphere.
Panagia is a Greek word for All-Holy or Most Holy, and it refers to Mary, the mother of Jesus. This title represents respect for Mary, as she is the holiest of all human beings, and she has a higher status than saints. Most churches in Greece are called Panagia, and the most popular one in Mykonos is Panagia Paraportiani, which means Our Lady of the Side Gate.
This church is located in Chora, in the Kastro neighborhood. Panagia Paraportiani actually consists of five separate churches – four of them are the base on which the fifth church is built. This is one of the interesting hidden places in Mykonos you should visit while on your vacation here.
Vacationing in Mykonos will definitely be the peak of your summer – this is an extraordinary place. The island is rich in history and culture, not just fancy beach clubs and amazing restaurants. You will get to see many beautiful Orthodox churches, but before that – you need to find suitable accommodation. Private villas in Mykonos are surely the way to go. You can contact The Ace VIP for the best Mykonos luxury villas – take a look at our listings, and choose one of the Mykonos villas for rental that best suits your style.