ΠΟΛΙΤΙΣΤΙΚΗ ΑΚΑΔΗΜΙΑ
«ΑΓΙΟΣ ΕΠΙΦΑΝΙΟΣ»
ΙΝΣΤΙΤΟΥΤΟ ΜΕΛΕΤΩΝ, ΕΡΕΥΝΩΝ ΚΑΙ ΠΟΛΙΤΙΣΜΟΥ

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Father Zacharias of Panagiotissa

Father Zacharias was most probably born around 1601 and lived in the area of Panagia of Protaras. 

He served the parish church of the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

Recent archaeological research points to the existence of a church in Panagiotissa, from the byzantine years (6th-7th c.).

Father Zacharias was at the same time a farmer. 

His presence was of importance to the community of Panagia and he was responsible for the equal sharing of the spring water among the people. At some point, the Ottoman rulers, who conquered Cyprus in 1571, wanted to confiscate the water spring to cover their own needs, because of the long drought and
the lack of water.

The Panagia community resisted, and Father Zacharias represented them, refusing to hand over the water spring. He was taken to the Pasha of Famagusta and defended himself.  Zacharias convinced the Pasha that the water was necessary for the community. In the meantime, a riot broke out and the
people of Panagia were taken to the pasha. Father Zacharias asked only for him to be convicted.

After a series of events, he was imprisoned and was beheaded in Famagusta, most probably sometime around 1660. 

He was buried in Panagiotissa.

After his death people abandoned the community and moved to the Paralimni inland, having Panagiotissa as a place of reference and reverence. 

Father Zacharias has been commemorated for centuries and the tradition of his life and sacrifice passed down from one generation to the other. 

The memory and the tradition were realized when the body of Father Zacharias was found, hidden like “bread from the earth.” 

The remains of Father Zacharias were found at Panagiotissa, during restoration works and archaeological excavations in 2019. 

EL