The patron saint of Kythira is the Virgin Mary (Panagia) Myrtidiotissa and her monastery is located on the west side of the island. The name Myrtidiotissa comes from the many myrtle trees that someone can find in the region as well as due to the legend that the icon of the Virgin Mary was found on myrtle branches.
The monastery celebrates every year on the 24th of September, the day that according to tradition a shepherd found the icon of Mary probably in the 14th century. According to great religious custom, the icon leads a procession through most of the villages of the island on Orthodox Sunday. The procession lasts for 15 days and ends in Chora.
The icon is believed to perform miracles and many faithful are reaching the island for worshiping reasons from every single corner of Greece and also from abroad. During the ages of the pirate raids, the icon was kept in the fortress for security reasons.