Church of Virgin Mary Lagouvarda in Markopoulo (Fidiotissa or Fidoussa)

One of the most famous temples of Kefalonia, Virgin in Markopoulo accepts every year thousands of pilgrims and other “curious” guests. These are small karmless snakes having in their head four black dots in a shape of a cross! They appear between 6 and 16 August in the rocks behind the Frankish bell tower and crawl fearlessly between the world and in the church.

The legend of the Virgin says it all started from a bush that was seen burning in Loggos. Approaching to extinguish the fire, they saw that only one tree was burnt and the icon of Virgin was in its roots. They brought it to the village church but the next day the icon was missing! They found it again in the same place and after this it happened quite a few more times and so they realized that it was a divine sign build the church of Virgin Lagouvarda to this point at the bottom of the ravin . Over the years a nunnery, dedicated to the Virgin Mary was created there. Again, according to legend, once pirates threatened the abbey. After the prayers of the monks , snakes encircled the monastery and repelled the threat! The miracle is repeated every year since then and this how the appearance of snakes is explained by the tradition. It is also considered bad sign the snakes not to appear a year something that happened according to legend in 1940 and 1953, the year of the devastating earthquakes in Kefalonia.

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