Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Monasteries of Evia

Before my in-laws left toward the end of July, we made a pilgrimage to the nearby island of Evia (or Euboea), which was also our first trip there. We went with our friends from here in Portaria, Babi and Popi, and their son Dimitris. The kids especially liked the half-hour ferry boat ride, in which we threw crackers to the seagulls.

The first stop in Evia was a small women's monastery dedicated to Saint Irene Chrysovalantou, located near Rovies on the northwest coast of the island. Here is the view from the monastery.

Here's Pres. Pelagia with Damiani at the monastery. There, we talked with the three nuns there, and got a tour of the monastery, along with many refreshments and gifts of icons, books, etc.

The next stop was the nearby men's monastery of Osios David, which is famous as the home of the contemporary saintly Elder Iakovos. I highly recommend this book by my friend, Dr. Herman Middleton, to learn more about his life and counsels.

As you can see from this photo of the monastery's entrance, it was founded in 1535. Unfortunately, I sort of abdicated my photo-taking responsibilities to my mother-in-law, and then I somehow never got the photos of the trip from her.

We had a very nice visit, and even had the opportunity to speak with the present-day abbot, who took a break from hearing confessions to speak with us for a few minutes. We then sat and had coffee with one of the two or three remaining monks who were disciples of Elder Iakovos. He told us many stories and personal experiences he had with the Elder, including several miracles.

We also had the blessing to be taken into the Elder's humble cell, and to venerate his grave.

The next stop was the seaside town of Limni, where we met some friends from Panorama who have a summer home there. We had a lovely meal with them along the waterfront.

Our friend Evangelia grew up in that town, and so after we ate, they walked us along the waterfront, past her parent's house, to the nearby cave cell of St. Christodoulos of Patmos, which is preserved as a shrine.

Above, you can see the view from the cave cell down the stairs, directly onto the beach and water.

Fr. Joseph and Kh. Sophia standing in front of the cave cell.

Here we are walking back to the restaurant from the cave.

We had promised the kids a swim that day, so we stopped for a dip when we got off the ferry boat on the way back to the mainland.

Then it was back to Portaria.

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