Hudson Teen Retrieves Epiphany Cross

Hudson Teen Retrieves Epiphany Cross



EpiphanyCrossTARPON SPRINGS, Fla   It took Anderson Combs less than 20 seconds to pull the coveted white wooden cross from a bayou in Tarpon Springs.

The seasoned swimmer from Hudson High School was among 49 boys, aged 16 to 18, who participated in Wednesday’s Epiphany celebration, the largest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.


EPIPHANY_on shoulders“I’m just so blessed to have it, it’s a miracle,” Combs said, holding the cross and sitting on the shoulders of fellow divers, who carried him through a crowd of 20,000 spectators.


Epiphany, also referred to as Theophany, is an Orthodox Christian Holiday that commemorates the baptism of Jesus Christ and when the Trinity was revealed to us.


Each January 6, a wooden cross is tossed into Spring Bayou by Archbishop Demetrios, the senior hierarch of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, to bless the water.


In the nights leading up to the dive, Combs said he had dreams that he caught the cross.


“I’ve been a swimmer all my life, and my yiayia (grandmother) always wanted me to dive for the cross….when she passed away, I always wanted to do it in her memory, and it’s just great to be able to retrieve it and have her in my mind,” Combs said.


EPIPHANY_on boatsCombs is a member of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in New Port Richey.


“It’s his second time diving, and his final time, and this time God helped him catch the cross and bring the blessing to St. George,” Rev. Fr. Vasileios Tsourlis said, the parish priest.



The teen divers come from Greek Orthodox churches around the Tampa Bay area.


EPIPHANY_blessing all divers









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About author

Kristin Giannas

Kristin (Xrisanthi) Giannas is a journalist and weather anchor based out of Tampa, Florida. Kristin has covered breaking news stories and delivered weather forecasts at Orlando's CBS affiliate, WKMG. A graduate of the University of Florida, she is currently continuing her studies through Mississippi State's Broadcast Meteorology program.