In Greece, thousands of members of the Orthodox Church braved force seven gales on the island of Tinos in the Aegean Sea to attend celebrations this week marking the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
CU Icon of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary being carried over the heads of invalids
SV Invalids laying on ground with families waiting for icon to pass over them, some of them hysterical
CU Icon being carried
SV People praying as icon approaches and bowing their heads as it passes over them (3 shots)
SV People praying
SV Child carried down steps
CU Icon carried in procession through crowded streets (3 shots)
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Background: In Greece, thousands of members of the Orthodox Church braved force seven gales on the island of Tinos in the Aegean Sea to attend celebrations this week marking the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Many of them came to seek cures from an icon depicting the Virgin which has been attributed with miraculous powers.
SYNOPSIS: The icon, said to be more than 900 years old, is carried in procession every year on the feast of the Assumption, its route lined with the sick and the crippled hoping for a miraculous cure. As they lay on the ground waiting for the icon to pass over them, many were overcome by emotion.
Just how old the ceremony is, no-one is quite sure, but legend has it that the icon was discovered several hundred years ago in a grotto on the tiny Aegean island, following an old woman's dream. It soon became attributed with strange healing powers -- and the pilgrimages started.
There were fewer pilgrims than usual this year -- many had been put off by gales in the Aegean, making the crossing from mainland Greece both hazardous and difficult for the sick.