St. Elesa icon

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Orthodox icon of Saint Elesa of the island of Kythyra.

Commemorated August 1.

Protector Saint of: Childbirth.

Elesa, a Christian, fled to Kythera to get away from her father who was angered by her refusal to marry the man he had chosen for her. She disembarked at Melidoni, Kythera in 375 A.D. determined lead a life of a nun instead. On the way up to the mountain, she begged the Lord to open the ground at her feet so that she could hide from her father who was in close pursuit

The earth beneath her feet cracked open but her father was already there, waiting for her. She underwent terrible torture at the hands of her father.He whipped her, hung her from a carob tree and finally decapitated her. Her grave today is located in Saint Elesa Monastery's courtyard.