A Visit to the Monastery of St. Patapios

Trip Start Sep 12, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Greece  , Peloponnese,
Thursday, September 13, 2012

On the Slopes of Mourt Geraneia
Leaving behind the Heraion we feel we ought to visit St. Patapio's monastery since it is on our way. On the slopes of this mountain (Geraneia) the monastery stands imposingly for centuries.

Many people come here to pay their respects to the Saint from all around Greece even from other Orthodox countries in Europe. Russians combine their beach holidays with different pilgrimages and some even come to Greece to get married at Greek churches.

The Saint is said to have done many miracles and helps people with serious diseases. In the area there are other monasteries –that of St. Elias and Saint John the Baptist and St. Panteleimon.   

We leave the car in the parking lot, greet a lady selling herbs and honey and ask why the big iron door leading to the monastery is closed.

"Oh you have to climb up 178 stairs to come to the monastery" she replies.

What a challenge for Yianni this is !  For me it is exercise and fun but this climbing can prove catastrophic for Yianni since he recently had his knee operated but he insists that he can make it.
Watching him climbing I can hardly believe it!
As we approach the top we see a second parking lot on the side and it is at this point when I get furious with the lady selling herbs.  I am really angry and upset and instead of being sweet and polite when I see the elderly nun at the entrance gate greeting us I protest that they should let the door open.
She stares at me in surprise and with humbleness and gentlness in temper she replies that there is a bell on the door and the door opens in seconds if somebody only presses the button. She is so sweet and calm that I feel ashamed and I apologize.

Oh well, I understand now the reason the lady did not tell us…..I am almost sure about it because we even mentioned the fact that Yianni has recently been operated on his knee. She probably did it because I did not show interest in buying anything. Usually visitors are after these benches and she was surprised that I did not even approach to see what she sells.

Saint PatapiusThe shrine of the holy relic dressed in a monk’s clothes is covered and only part of his hand can be seen. The cover is taken off only the days of celebration.  Inside the cave the entire roof is black from the many candles, with several dedications in expression of gratitude for a miracle. It is believed that the dent on the ground in front of the shrine was formed by the constant kneeling of pilgrims.  There is also an exhibition room for icons, books and religious talismans on sale.

The yard is big and the view down the gulf is breath-taking.

Here the air is so clean that we can feel the oxygen in our lungs. I am sure even in the very warm days of summer it is still cool out here. I am convinced when I see two cyclamen flowers under the shade of pine trees on my way up. We usually have them in November!

The descent for me is like flying and Yianni is climbing down the 178 stairs without a single complain. (There were more step after we reached the entrance with the elderly nun mind you)!!

So, with this last visit our day’s excursion is over…..I hope you enjoyed the trip.

More about Saint Patapios:

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