Visiting Saint Ephraim's Monastery in Nea Makri

Trip Start Apr 24, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Greece  , Attica,
Friday, August 10, 2012

Saint Ephraim the Newly-Revealed Wonderworker of Nea Makri.

The Monastery of St. Ephraim has been miraculously spared from fires some years back. It happens to be very close where we stay so this morning and with the coasts being quite wavy we decide to go for a pilgrimage. I have never been here before and I find it a good opportunity.

The Monastery is nestled near the forests of the Mountains of Penteli in a dry area. If you ever need a retreat from civilization I believe Greece would be the ideal place to escape to. Tiny monasteries dot the mountainous landscape of this beautiful Orthodox country. Of course the Monastery we are heading to this morning is not a tiny one, -actually just the opposite.

The closest city to the monastery is Nea Makri and by the way I need to state here that it is one of the areas the famous Marathon race passes through.

We come to an open area that looks like the parking lot of the monastery, lock the car and enter the imposing outer round arched entrance. We are now in the precincts of the monastery with another entrance and some steps which we climb.

Wow! What's this?

I start counting churches. I don’t remember coming to any monastery and find so many churches in the same courtyard, so to be sure I ask a nun who happens to pass by that moment.  

She starts counting for a second, and then she replies. "They are six in all".

The courtyard is extremely clean and well looked after. All buildings are made of rough brownish stone. There are huge trees and beds of flowers, and when I open an unlocked door I come to another garden in the centre of which is a round tiled built based on eight while columns. The centre part is something like a fountain containing holy water.

On the right next to the door there must be the burial place of Mother Makaria decorated with photos and pots of flowers and from the sycamore tree there are 3 different kinds of bells hanging.

“You should go and get something on to cover your legs before a nun scolds you”  Yianni says.

He is right, and although I thought of wearing a skirt this morning in the end I forgot all about it. By a side wall behind the stoup of holy water there are these clothes-hangers and I choose one. There are a few other ladies out here with me doing the same thing. I put the cloth around my waist covering my knees and…

 “Ok, I said” here I am!

“Let’s get to the main church first”

The Monastery’s official name is –Evangelismos tis Theotokou, and it is dedicated to the Annunciation of the Mother of Jesus, but because this also was the site of martyrdom of Saint Ephraim –the New Hieromartyr) people also refer to the Monastery as Saint Ephraim’s.

During the big fires some years back the flames came within a few meters of the walls. It was very windy and the fire was moving rapidly inside the monastery and suddenly the winds inexplicably changed course towards the opposite direction. An icon of the Saint was found additionally and was wondrously preserved amid the embers of the area around the monastery.

People approach the relic of Saint Ephraim which is in a silver scrimshaw kind of reliquary and with devotion and humbleness ask for blessing. The relics of the Saint were discovered through divine revelation in 1950; 524 years after his death.  (The holy New Martyr and wonderworker Ephraim was born in Greece on September 14, 1384).

Since Saint Ephraim glorified God in his life and by his death, the Lord granted him the grace of working miracles. Those who venerate his holy relics with faith and love have been healed of all kinds of illnesses and infirmities, and he is quick to answer the prayers of those who call upon him. As a Saint he helps troubled and despairing youth and protects against suicide, alcoholism, drugs and all sort of harmful addictions.

Check the link for more information:

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rossport on

What a beautiful Monastery you visited Popi love your photo's

Anne on

Well popi i justwant to be there it is so nice and the photo are lovly

mmbcross on

I agree with Steward. The monastery is really lovely and looks so clean and new.

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