The Cycladic island of Tinos in Greece is the home of a famous sanctuary, dedicated to one of the most venerated icons of the Virgin Mary. From the very beginning, the so-called miraculous discovery of the icon in 1823 has been invested with a patriotic dimension: its symbolic significance for the Greek War of Independence against the Ottomans. As the newly found icon represented the Annunciation,1 an analogy was established between this biblical theme and the annunciation of the Greek victory and subsequent liberation from Ottoman domination. The analogy was reinforced by the fact that the name of the local bishop, who directed the excavations that led to the finding of the icon, was Gabriel: his name was considered equally symbolic, a reminder of the homonymous archangel of the Annunciation. As Jill Dubisch states, ‘two rebirths – of humankind and of the Greeks – are combined’ in the case of Tinos (1995: 164).