It celebrates 5 days after Holy Easter.
It is located on the beach of Aigiou, built on a secluded rock 30m high. from the surface of the sea, inside a Cave (hole).
Whoever visits the pilgrimage for the first time is impressed by the beauty of the landscape: tall cypresses and shady pines give a distinct and evocative grandeur. A staircase with 150 steps connects the Holy Pilgrimage to the public road. But there is also a second road from Kyparissona. As soon as the visitor approaches the curbs of the Temple, he notices inside the rock a small cave 3 meters long, 2 meters wide and again 2 meters high.
The opening is built with stones and has a small door and window. According to tradition, there was the hermitage of the Shipwrecked Captain who found the icon. However, if the pilgrim’s admiration is great for the beauty of the surrounding area, he is much more impressed and dazzled when he enters the Holy Temple. On the marble front of the Church is engraved the order: “COMING WITH THE FEAR OF GOD AND LOVE”, to remind pilgrims of the sanctity of the place and their obligation to approach the miraculous image of the Life-Giving Source with fear of God, faith and love in their hearts .
In the pronaos there is the Agiasma. Artistic cruciform marble fountain. From the mouths of three carved Angels the Holy Spirit pours continuously into a marble basin. In the Fountain is engraved the well-known cancer inscription (also read in reverse) “NIPSON ANONIMATA MI MONA NOPSIN” that is, first cleanse your faults sincerely with repentance, and not your appearance superficially. Then the pilgrim ascends to the main Naon – the soul is overwhelmed by the evocative set of decorations. To the right of the cave there is the image of the Virgin with the sweet face and the two lively and sympathetic eyes, which seduce the pilgrim, with her left hand she holds the child Jesus, who she blesses with the right and in the left she holds a scroll.
According to the venerable tradition – which is reliable in the Orthodox Church – in the middle of the 16th century, i.e. around 1550 AD, someone shipwrecked in the Gulf of Corinth saw – in the middle of the night – a comforting light, a sign that he was close to land. It fills with courage and hope. He musters all his strength to reach where the light shines. He approaches it and finds with great surprise that he is in front of an image of the Virgin Mary, where the whole moon shines and illuminates all around.
It is the Graceful icon of the Virgin Mary hidden in this rocky cave, unknown since when. This is how the icon of “Our Lady of Tripiti” was discovered. The castaway with reverence and emotion kneels and worships her. The next day he notified the authorities of the city of Aigio. Clergy, people, lords came, prostrated and made Doxalogs.
The Finder of the icon becomes the first ascetic and servant of the Virgin Mary. Then the care for rebuilding the Temple begins. Initially it was decided to make it further east of the place where the Holy Icon was found, because the place was a rock. On the evening of the first day that construction work began, the rock where the Icon had been found exploded – miraculously – and the area was reformed into a small temple. So the inhabitants thought that the Virgin Mary “made her house” and the Church was magnificently built in the place where it is today.
The main Cave in front of which the Temple was erected is 11 m long, 7 m wide and 4 m high. In order for the Holy Altar to be in the place where the Holy Icon was found, the Holy Vlima is facing south-east and not east which is imposed by Orthodoxy Tradition. Over time, the first hermitage developed into a glorious Monastery. The Temple took its current form in the 19th AD. century. The monumental, Renaissance-style, exterior marble staircase, which connects the beach road with the Temple, was built in 1870 AD. with a design by engineer Angelos Koryzis.
By Royal Decree of May 8, 1933 AD. the feast of Panagia Tripiti is established as an official Religious Feast of Aegius. On Diakainisimo Friday, the procession of the Holy Icon takes place with all solemnity. Finally with the no. 10/16-5-1970 regulation of the Holy Synod of Greece is recognized as a “PANHELLENIC HOLY PILGRIMAGE” and is designated as a Legal Entity under Public Law.
With the proclamation of Panagia Trypitis as a Panhellenic Holy Pilgrimage, the reverence of the numerous devout Christians who flock together for pilgrimage was formalized. The many and exquisite Miracles of the Virgin Mary over time highlight this Holy place in a great spiritual center of Panhellenic radiation.
It is very moving, – on the Good Friday, – to see thousands of Christians from all over Greece – of all ages – climbing the great staircase (150 steps), many kneeling, without shoes, with tears in their eyes and gratitude in their hearts, in order to to fulfill their “Tama” to the Virgin who heard them, and accepted their plea and freed them from some need or illness.
There are many miracles of the Virgin that became known through confessions, letters of believers as well as publications in the daily press. A true copy of the Holy Icon was issued in the year 1991 AD. and available to those believers who wish.