Melbourne grandmother, Penelope Katsavos, is recovering in hospital after being left with horrific injuries from a brutal bashing outside Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox church in South Yarra.
Penelope was opening the church in South Yarra at about 6am on Saturday morning when she was viciously attacked.
A man grabbed the 78-year-old’s shopping trolley, punched her in the face, pushed her over and kicked her while she was on the ground.
The grandmother-of-six suffered bleeding on the brain in two spots, a fractured wrist and pelvis, as well as some severe bruising.
She is now in a stable condition in hospital recovering from her injuries, but there are fears she may never fully recover from the brutal attack.
A photo taken in hospital shows the brave elderly Greek woman flashing a smile as she reads from a bible, her reading glasses shielding a swollen black eye.
“It saddens me to talk about… to think about the pain that she actually went through,” her son, Evri, told 7NEWS.
“(It’s) just real gutless to hit anyone, let alone an elderly person… defenceless.”
Penelope is a full-time carer for her husband Thomas, who has dementia. The couple has devoted themselves to voluntary work for the church for more than 30 years.
His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Australia sent his well wishes to Penelope and her family after hearing of the attack and said in a media release that the Archdiocese would be “strongly on the side of our hospitalised parishioner for whatever is required in this recovery process.”
“I express my deepest sorrow, as well as my strong disapproval, for this violent act towards a beloved member of our Church,” His Eminence continued.
CCTV of a man Victoria police wish to speak to over the bashing of Penelope has been released.
He has been described as Caucasian in appearance, with a thin build, dark coloured hair, moustache and was wearing a brown t-shirt, dark coloured pants and shoes.
Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information have been urged to contact police.