Thousands of Greeks participated in an annual holy pilgrimage on Wednesday (15 August) to the tiny island of Tinos.
GV Church of the Virgin Mary on Tinos Island people milling in square (2 shots)
SV People queue on steps of entrance to church
SCU ZOOM TO SV woman crawling up steps as people take photographs (2 shots)
SV: Crowds and naval men carrying Icon through streets. (3 shots)
SV: People watching procession.
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Background: Thousands of Greeks participated in an annual holy pilgrimage on Wednesday (15 August) to the tiny island of Tinos. The day is a nation-wide holiday regarded at the biggest religious event of the year.
SYNOPSIS: Every year more than thirty thousand pilgrims from all over Greece and the Orthodox world travel to the island of Tinos to attend the service and the Litany of the Holy Icon of the Assumption of Virgin mary. The annual pilgrimage began when the Icon was reportedly discovered in a grotto hundreds of years ago on the tiny island in the Cyclades group.
The discovery of the miraculous Byzantine Icon was said to follow an old woman's dream and is reputed to have strange powers of healing.
Many people come to the island looking for miracle cures for long illnesses or to offer prayers for those at home who cannot make the pilgrimage.
But the climax of the day is a procession through the narrow streets of the island with the icon carried aloft for the pilgrims to see and possibly touch. The holy icon is guarded by a Greek naval detachment. The pilgrims later attended a service at St. Mary's which was conducted by the British. Orthodox Bishop Athenagoras and assisted by four bishops.