St. Kosmas’ tree
According to folk tradition in the village of Tsiraki, today known as Agios Kosmas (St. Kosmas), St. Kosmas the Aetolian evangelized in 1777 during his third tour as a house guest of a poor blacksmith, from whom he asked to make an iron cross for him. The cross was erected by St. Kosmas on a Turkey oak (a kind of oak) outside the village, prophesying that “when the branch with the Cross falls, then something evil will happen to our Homeland and the evil will come from that side that the branch fell and when the whole tree falls the evil will become even more evil”. In 1940 the branch fell pointing towards Albania, the location where the Italian soldiers attacked from and, then, in 1947, when the whole tree fell, that was the year that the whole village was destroyed during the Civil War. The inhabitants of the village returning back to the village in 1950 found that cross fallen covered in mud and at the same location they built a shrine. Later, in 1967, the church of St. Kosmas was built there incuding the bust of the Saint, the votive column, a copy of the cross and three Turkey oak trees from the branches of the original “oak” of St. Kosmas. The authentic iron cross is kept by the villagers as a sacred heirloom and it remains one out of the three authentic crosses of St. Kosmas that have ever been saved.
Accessibility: The tree is accessible from the street height.