Members of Red Hill’s Greek Orthodox Church were left devastated after an icon of the Virgin Mary was stolen from the church on Saturday night, along with donations of gold and silver.
In an interview with the Herald Sun, Panagia Kamariani Monastery secretary Georgie Marinis expressed the parish’s shock over the incident, which was the second time the icon and its adornments had been taken in 18 months.
But she stressed parishioners were more concerned about the icon, than anything of monetary value.
“She’s a miraculous icon … Father Eleftherios Tatsis would take the icon to sick persons because they have the faith that she will help them get better,” Ms Marinis said.
“There are a lot of miracles through cancer healing. There are also child bearing couples who can’t have children – a lot of them have had children through our lady. She is very special to us.”
The earlier theft took place in July 2014 when close to $300,000 worth of jewellery was stolen.
But Police confirmed on Friday morning that the icon had been found on Thursday by the side of White Hill Road, a few hundred metres from the church.
Though some of the jewellery was found, the majority remains missing.
The monastery has since decided that they will no longer be leaving any valuables placed on the icon on site when unattended.
If you have any information regarding the theft, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppersvic.com.au/