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WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, Manhattan- On Sunday, May 8, 2016, an icon of St. Spyridon was stolen from Saint Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church on Wadsworth Avenue, New York City. The suspect now in custody is a local homeless man. The church’s video surveillance shows that he walked in, made the sign of the cross, and tucked the icon under his jacket before leaving. He is not Orthodox.
The icon, written by well-known iconographer Constantine Youssis, is valued at $5,000. Youssis, a student of famed iconographer Photios Kontoglou, has illustrated over 50 churches in the USA during the 1950s -70s. He is also a member of the parish.
The parish hopes to find their beloved icon and sought the help and intercessions of many popular saints including St. Spyridon, the patron of the parish, and St. Phanourios, known for finding lost things. A reward has not been set.
Fr. Evagoras Constantinides is the parish priest and said police are searching the area and local pawn shops in hopes that it was pawned and not destroyed.
Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).
Apolytikion of Spyridon the Wonderworker
O Father, God-bearer, Spyridon, you were proven a champion and Wonder Worker of the First Ecumenical Council. You spoke to the girl in the grave and turned the serpent to gold. And, when chanting your prayers, most sacred One, angels ministered with you. Glory to Him who glorified you; glory to Him who crowned you; glory to Him who, through you, works healing for all.
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