The Apolytikion for Panagia tou Harou as translated by our dear friends, Pres. Evangelia and Fr. Nicholas March.
Your holy icon, depicting the Death of our Lord, we venerate, All-praised One; having been called upon through invocation, the lilies were observed to grow on it green and fresh after the passage of time; we praise your grace with all reverence, Virgin, crying out: Glory to your mighty works Pure One, Glory to your wonders, Glory to your care towards us, O Immaculate One.
Panagia tou Harou is an icon of the Virgin and Christ, on the island of Lipsi, Greece. This icon depicts the Virgin Mary holding a miniature crucified Christ.
On the Apodosis (Leave-taking) of the Feast of the Dormition (August 23), which is 9 days after the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, thousands gather on the small island to witness a miracle.
The miracle comes from flowers that were offered as thanks to the Virgin Mary in the 1940s. The local folklore tells of a woman who was praying in a little countryside chapel before the icon of Panagia tou Harou. Her prayers were answered, and in gratitude, she returned and placed a simple bouquet of lilies on the icon. These lilies were forgotten and dried on the icon.
In the following year, on Vespers of the Apodosis (Leave-taking) of the Feast of the Dormition (August 23), when they opened the little chapel once more, as it is customary to only hold services in the small chapels on their feast days, these rootless lilies blossomed and were fragrant.
We recently celebrated the Feast of Transfiguration. I enjoy decorating the icons with flowers. I chose to put white flowers on the top and brighter colors on the bottom to resemble the contrast with heavenly and worldly.