Greek monastery revived after nearly a century

Amari, Crete, Greece, May 15, 2024

Photo: Romfea Photo: Romfea     

Nearly a century after it was closed, the monastic life has been revived in the Holy Archangels Asomaton Monastery on the island of Crete.

On Sunday, May 12, in addition to the 17th anniversary of the consecration of the main monastery church, the official installation of a new sisterhood took place, reports Romfea.

The Orthros and Divine Liturgy were celebrated by Metropolitan Prodromos of Rethymnon and Avlopotamos and the local hierarch Metropolitan Irenaios of Lampi, Syvritos, and Skafia, together with local clergy.

The service was chanted by the monastery’s new sisterhood.

Following the Liturgy, both spoke, expressing their great joy at the reopening of the monastery after nearly a century. Met. Prodromos wished for the sisters to enjoy spiritual progress under the protection of their patrons, the holy archangels.

Photo: Romfea Photo: Romfea     

The monastic residential building as well as the sewing and iconography workshops were also blessed.

The monastery dates back to the Middle Byzantine period, around the 10th century. It was completely destroyed and restored several times during both the Venetian and Turkish occupations.

The monastery eventually gave its territory, at the request of the Greek state, for the opening of the Agricultural Schools of Asomaton. However, as the school developed, the monastery declined and was eventually forgotten among the people.

Met. Irenaios of Lampi was enthroned in 1990 and publicly expressed his desire to do whatever possible to revive the monastery. Initially, diocesan priests would gather in the old monastery church to celebrate the Liturgy every year on Thomas Sunday. The bishop also involved a broad array of experts to begin the revival of the monastery.

In 2007, the restored catholicon was consecrated and began to be used as a parish church. Over time, there were more and more calls to restore the church to its original function.

In February 2023, the current sisterhood, consisting of five nuns, visited the monastery and expressed its interest in living and laboring there, though the issue of housing needed to be resolved. With contributions from parishioners and Church and public authorities, a residential building was quickly renovated.

The restoration of the full monastic complex continues.

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