- BBC News, 19th July, 20:45 GMT
The icon of the Theotokos at the monastery of Elona in the Peloponnesus has been stolen. The Archdiocese of Greece has not yet made any comment on this matter, but I doubt they will remain silent for long.
So important is this particular icon that the deputy chief of the national police force is leading the inquiry.
Roadblocks have been set up, boats leaving nearby harbours have been searched, and a festival that should have attracted thousands of people has been cancelled so as not to obstruct the police hunt.
We also see in the report yet another sign of the militant secularism in Europe, as the deeply religious villagers are being described as "superstitious" (in conjunction with the word "rural").
Let us pray that this wonderworking icon may be returned to its rightful owners, to the Orthodox faithful of Greece:
O God, our help in time of need, Who are just and merciful, and Who inclines to the supplications of His people. Look down upon us and have mercy on us and deliver us from the trouble that now besets us. Deal with us not according to our iniquities, but according to Your manifold mercies, for we are the works of Your hands, and You know our weaknesses. I pray to you to grant me Your divine helping grace, and endow me with patience and strength to endure my hardships with complete submission to Your Will. Only You know our misery and sufferings, and to You, our only hope and refuge, we flee for relief and comfort, trusting in Your infinite love and compassion, that in due time, when You know best, You will deliver us from this trouble, and turn our distress into comfort. We then shall rejoice in Your mercy, and exalt and praise Your Holy Name, O Father, Son and Holy Spirit, both now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen.
St Andrew, pray for us.
St Nicholas, pray for us.
St Phanourios, pray for us.