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#192224 - 05/15/05 01:55 AM Holy Snakes of the Virgin Mary  
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Pani Rose Offline
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Someone had this video at a meeting today and I just had to search it out this evening. Does anyone know more about it?

Ad for a video in the Denver Catholic Register

Vol. LXXIV No. 39
October 14,1998

"Holy Snakes of the Virgin Mary"


A documentary based on real events

On the beautiful island of Kefalonia in Greece, scientists cannot explain the yearly appearance of a group of snakes with a white cross on the forehead and tongue which seem to make a pilgrimage to a small church of the Virgin Mary during her feast day, on the same date every summer.

In this documentary footage you too will see:

The snakes surround the icon of the Virgin Mary

The snakes interact with pilgrims and the local archbishop
an investigative team discuss the event with locals, visitors, scientists and scholars

A miracle witnessed by thousands each year!

This mystifying, unexplained phenomenon is a wonderful account of faith and devotion, set in a land of myths and legends. Learn about the holy sacrifice of the nuns and their role in the making of this 300 year old legend.

"An amazing event that offers a powerful faith experience to visitors that could transform their lives."
- Nicholas Constas, Doctor of Theology

"An extremely intriguing and unique even to which science has no credible answer."
- Dr. J. Rossi, DVM-MA

"A pure religious phenomena with no fraudulence involved. If you believe in the existence of God and the Virgin Mary it is easy to believe in this miracle."

- Local resident

"The appearances of the snakes is a miracle."
- Pastor Evangelos
http://users.stargate.net/~ejt/news1.htm

This is interesting, it has an icon with it, from the Animal Channel no less.

n a land of myths and legend, we encounter a natural phenomenon that puzzles and mystifies. On the island of Kefalonia in Greece, scientists cannot explain the yearly appearances of a group of snakes that seem to pay pilgrimage to a small church. The snakes have the sign of the cross on their heads and tongues and they only appear on the same dates every summer, during the feast of the Virgin Mary. The locals call it a miracle and thousands of people visit every year to see it with their own eyes. According to legend, in the year 1705, a band of savage pirates arrived to the island in order to pillage a local convent. The nuns prayed for their safety to their protectess, the Virgin Mary. She heard their prayers, and as the legend goes, a miraculous transformation occurred. The nuns were turned into venomous snakes and the pirates were frightened away. Since then, the snakes appear once a year and make their way to the small church built in honor of the Virgin Mary. For the locals, their appearance is an omen of properity for the coming year. Only on two occasions, did the snakes keep away. But when they did, great disasters fell upon the island and its people. In this program, an investigative team travels to the island and talks with the locals, visitors, scientists, and scholars trying to shed light on this astounding event.
http://www.theanimalchannel.com/video.htm

#192225 - 05/15/05 04:09 AM Re: Holy Snakes of the Virgin Mary  
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Pani Rose Offline
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Apparently there are a number of monasteries on the island. http://www.greeka.com/ionian/kefalonia/kefalonia-churches.htm

#192226 - 05/15/05 04:14 AM Re: Holy Snakes of the Virgin Mary  
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Milliardo Offline
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Interesting. Maybe it is a miracle. Perhaps the Church can investigate this phenomenon and see what is really happening here...

#192227 - 05/15/05 02:22 PM Re: Holy Snakes of the Virgin Mary  
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Chtec Offline
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I recall reading something about this several years back, maybe in one of those "Time" or "Life" books about Greece.

I don't know anything more about it, but I do know that holy snakes aren't only restricted to the East; somewhere in Italy they annually cover a statue of Saint Dominic (I think) with snakes.

Maybe it's a Byzantinization? biggrin

(Most probably it is a pagan holdover.)

Dave

#192228 - 05/15/05 02:40 PM Re: Holy Snakes of the Virgin Mary  
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Chtec Offline
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I put "Kefalonia snakes" into Yahoo, and I came up with a few sites:

http://apartmentsinkefalonia.com/kefalonia-excursions2.html

http://dejnarde.ms11.net/snake.htm

[Linked Image]

[Linked Image]

Apparently, it takes place in the village of Markopoulo on Kefalonia, and the church is dedicated to the Mother of God, "Lagkouvardiotissa."

Dave

#192229 - 05/15/05 05:23 PM Re: Holy Snakes of the Virgin Mary  
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Chtec Offline
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Apparently the snakes are New Calendarists since they arrive on or around August 15 for the Dormition.

I bet there are some staunch Old Calendarist snakes who won't recognize the calendar change and only go to church two weeks later. They probably have their own shrine-church a block away, where their arrival is much less publicized and is much more pious. (Have you ever tried to tie a babushka to a snake? Not easy?!) biggrin

Dave

#192230 - 05/15/05 07:58 PM Re: Holy Snakes of the Virgin Mary  
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Mike C. Offline
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A group of bees inhabit the cloister in Cascia where St. Rita lived. They have no stingers, and don't mate, yet they reproduce. Another miracle? There are numerous stories about Saints and animals; many in the East, but also Irish saints as well.

#192231 - 05/15/05 08:24 PM Re: Holy Snakes of the Virgin Mary  
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Chtec Offline
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I remember reading something about bees who live(d) at Mariapocs...

Dave

#192232 - 05/15/05 10:52 PM Re: Holy Snakes of the Virgin Mary  
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byzanTN Offline
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Snakes! AIYEEEH! There must be charismatics nearby! wink biggrin I haven't heard about these snakes before, but I can tell you one thing. The only thing you would see of me would be a blur on the horizon as I got away from there as fast as possible.

#192233 - 05/16/05 07:29 AM Re: Holy Snakes of the Virgin Mary  
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Vito Offline
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click here to see photo of saint dominic abbot in abruzzo region italy---statue covered with snakes
http://www.sandomenicoabatevillalago.it/sda/contenuti/fotococu1.html

#192234 - 05/16/05 09:53 AM Re: Holy Snakes of the Virgin Mary  
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Orthodox Catholic Offline
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Dear Vito,

Yes, a close Italian friend of mine actually participated in one of those processions with the snakes!

I wonder if all this has to do with the idea that snakes, formerly a symbol of evil, now, under Christ, pose no danger to us, we have dominion over them and they won't bite etc.

I'll slither back to my desk . . .

Alex

#192235 - 05/16/05 04:53 PM Re: Holy Snakes of the Virgin Mary  
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Gaudior Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by byzanTN:
Snakes! AIYEEEH! There must be charismatics nearby! wink biggrin I haven't heard about these snakes before, but I can tell you one thing. The only thing you would see of me would be a blur on the horizon as I got away from there as fast as possible.
Have a nice chocolate snake, Charles, and you'll feel more kindly disposed toward them. wink

Gaudior, who has seen this video

#192236 - 05/16/05 07:12 PM Re: Holy Snakes of the Virgin Mary  
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Hmmm, maybe a chocolate one wouldn't be too bad. smile I have been told the differences between the poisonous and non-poisonous snakes in my region. The problem is, I am so nearsighted, that by the time I could tell the difference, it would be too late. I did look in on a pentecostal snake-handling service back in the 70s, before Tennessee outlawed the practice. It was interesting - and crazy - but I kept a respectful distance from the true believers. Someone did ask if I had enough faith to take up the serpent. I said, "hell, no! I don't believe in anything." biggrin

#192237 - 05/16/05 08:00 PM Re: Holy Snakes of the Virgin Mary  
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Jakub. Offline
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Those snakes appear to be Italiano Garternia variety.

james

#192238 - 05/17/05 07:26 PM Re: Holy Snakes of the Virgin Mary  
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Michael B Offline
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Christ is risen!

Thank you for the wonderful dreams last night! "I don't like spiders 'n snakes!"

The tale behind it this is great, but I don't like no snakes.
I guess you can tell what my worst fears are smile

Michael

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