CHURCH - MONASTERY

The Holy Monastery of Saint Dionysios of Olympus

Place sacred from prayer and the life of St Dionysios of Olympus, the Monastery dedicated in his name, attracts every year more and more visitors.

Greeks and foreigners, Christians and followers of other religions, visit the Monastery, either as tourists or as climbers, who follow the path “Litochoro – Prionia”,  make a stop at the Holy Cave (where Saint Dionysios lived) and after visiting the old Monastery.

THE MONASTERY WAS FOUNDED IN 1542

Saint Dionysios of Olympus, born as Dimitrios Kaletsis around 1500 in the village called Sklataina of Karditsa, the current Drakotrypa. After a year in the Monastery of the Great Meteoron in Kalambaka, Mount Athos and others, 1542 installed on Mount Olympus.

At an altitude of 900 meters into the gorge of the Enipea river, natural fortress headland, between two streams and 18 km away from Litochoro, erected the old Monastery. The devoted to Agia Triada – after Divine Disclosure – later, however, prevailed to be called by its name. Until 1928 the Monastery was “Patriarchical” under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Τhrone.

THE HOLY CAVE

Saint Dionysios was living in cave under a rock called “Holy Cave” and remains until today.

Place that attracts thousands of visitors each day and is around a 20-minute walk from the old monastery.

THE MONASTERY WAS DESTROYED AND RANSACKED

The 1790-91 the Monastery burned from fire, as mentioned in the correspondence of the fathers. In 1821, the monastery was occupied by Veli Pasha, son of Ali Pasha. After three days of siege, ordered to looted and been burned down.

In April 1943 suffered the greatest destruction, as was blown up by the Germans, because Greek rebels hiding in the Monastery. Since then transferred in new place, close to Litochoro, building new one.

MONUMENT OF RARE ARCHITECTURE AND AESTHETICS

The Catholicon of the old Monastery is cross temple of ”Athos” type. Around the temple there are four chapels, where in the northwest is the tomb of St Dionysios. In the north, the only available such as compound and two towers next to the main entrance.

In the damaged today three story west wing, there are cells of monks and in the south-west corner αlmost ruined belfry. The south wing has two floors with the cells of the holy monks and underground areas. Today the Catholic has been fully restored, while efforts are being made for full restoration of the entire Monastery.

 

INVALUABLE SPIRITUAL AND HISTORIC TREASURE

The Monastery became an integral part, not only of religion but also the history, society and culture of the place. In the years of Turkish occupation noted economic and spiritual edge.

The reputation of the Saint Dionysios spread with his miracles and the casual Christian life and soon gathered around a number of monks.

Saint Dionysios took care for the enrichment of the monastery with Relics, relics of saints, images (it was the same icon painter), with library Holy Fathers texts.

There was a coherent religious painting laboratory and center of copying manuscripts, which saved many old texts. But he did tours in the wider region of Mount Olympus, teaching and confessed Greek people suffering and encouraging the liberation from the Turkish occupation.

The revolution of 1878, the Monastery participated actively again, providing shelter in the women and children of Litochoro. During the Macedonian Struggle, there was again a haven of militants and refueling station.

After his death, the reputation of the Monastery has exceeded the limits of the Thessaly and Macedonia and reached up to Russia.

This is safeguarded in the Monastery letter by the emperors of Russia dated 13 June 1692, which allows the monks of Mount Olympus, peddled the Sacred skull of St. Dionysios in Russia.

THE MONASTERY TODAY

Today the new Monastery, it operates as a cenobetic monastery, according to the Mount Athos way.

Every Sunday Divine Liturgy celebrates, while on weekdays, the sacred sequences committed within the avatoy, entrance is not allowed in the women. There are the cells of monks, laboratories, the Bank and the Catholicon which is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

Outside, the new magnificent church of Saint Dionysios. Celebrates on January 23, day of remembrance of the Saint. Also, on 14 September occurs the local celebration of the Cross, the Old monastery of Saint Dionysios.

In the monastery operates and the new Ecclesiastical Byzantine Museum, which was launched by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on 29 May 1999.

In this preserved ecclesiastical relics of great artistic and historical value. Examples include images of the 15th-19th century, embroidered canonicals, holy crosses, Holy Wood, holy relics and old manuscripts.

From all this we know today many elements in the history of the monastery.

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