According to Argolikos Archival Library of History and Culture, in 1821, the town of Kidonies in Asia Minor was destroyed, after a failed revolutionary movement and its population was slaughtered. Those who survived the Turks left their beautiful town to go to the island of Psara.
Panoraia Chatzikosta, a beautiful lady of big fortune, managed to save herself from the destruction. A sailor helped her into a boat that took her to the small island of Psara.
Panoraia Chatzikosta, or Psarokostaina or Psorokostaina after the island where she resorted to, saw her husband and children killed in front of her very eyes by the Turks. In Psara, where she was all alone and poor, she was helped and protected mainly by Benjamin of Lesvos (professor at the Academy of Kydonies).
Panoraia soon left Psara and went to Nafplio the capital of Greece at the time, along with Benjamin of Lesvos, who also went to live there. At first all went well, and she lived off the service she offered the professor and philosopher, Benjamin of Lesvos, who gave lessons to make a living. But in August 1824 Benjamin of Lesvos died of typhus.
After his death, Panoraia worked as a porter and a washerwoman, while she received charity from the people of Nafplio.
At the time of the Greek Revolution, there was an increasing number of orphans sent to Nafplio. Despite her problems, Panoraia asked and took some orphans under her protection. In order to feed them she went from house to house begging.
In 1826, a fund raiser took place in Nafplio for Missolonghi that was in battle. But because of the general poverty of the Greek people at the time, no one showed any interest to give something for Missolonghi. Then, the poorest of all, the widow Chatzikostaina, Panoraia, took out the silver ring she was wearing and a coin and put them on the table that the fundraiser committee had set in the square of the city.
This was only the beginning. Then everyone started approaching the table that was soon covered with silverware and coins.
Psorokostaina did not only give lessons of patriotism, but of humanity as well as she shared her little income with the fighters’ orphaned children. When Ioannis Kapodistrias founded an orphanage in Nafplio, she offered to wash the children’s clothes with no fee at all.
She died some months after the institution was opened and her coffin was accompanied by the children of the orphanage.