The Holy Monastery of Sagmata (amateur translation)
The Holy Monastery of the
Transfiguration – Sagmata is among the oldest monasteries, built at
the height of 747 meters on the peak of the Sagmatiou mountain. It is
a half hour from the city of Thebes, and 8 kilometers from the
“Ethnike Odo” between Athens and Lamia (about 80 kilometers from Athens
The founding of the Holy Monastery
According to Pausania, the mountain in
ancient years was named “Mount Ypatios”, and at the peak was a
magnificent ancient Greek temple and statue to the Ypatou Dios.
During the Byzantine period, specifically the 12th
century, the Holy Monastery was built by St. Clement, and was
supported by the Emperor Alexios Comenos, who granted a chrysobull of
1106, which granted special rights to the Monastery, along with rich
gifts. During that period, the name of the mountain was changed from
“Ypation”, to “Sagmation”, most likely because the mountain
resembles a hood or a saddle, or because in olden times, the monks'
handiwork was the crafting of saddles.
In the center of Holy Monastery stands
the Katholikon, which is dedicated to the Transfiguration of the
Savior, and which was built in the 12th century. It is in
a cruciform style, topped with a dome, divided into four parts (the
Holy Altar, the main church, the inner narthex or Liti, and the outer
narthex) in addition to the bell tower, which was built in the 15th
to the 16th century.
The most noteworthy portion of the
church is mosaic floor. It is beautiful, from the samples that
remain, crafted with multicolored stones, depicting wonderful scenes
from the animal and plant kingdoms, along with geometric shapes...
The other buildings
Around the Katholikon are built the
cells, the dining hall, and the rest of the support spaces. Towards
the south side is the dining hall of the Monastery, the “photanamma”,
and towards the western side the first cell, all constructions of the
century. The rest of the buildings (cells, the
archondariki, etc.) date from the Turkish occupation.
At a distance of 150 meters south of
the Monastery is the scenic chapel of St. Nicholas, that dates most
likely to the 16th
century. To the west is the newly-built
chapel of St. Clement, along with his tomb. From this location, the
view of the fields and bays is majestic. From here begins a small
footpath which leads to the steep cave where St. Clement lived in
asceticism. Around the Monastery are the ruins of old chapels, while
at a distance of about 1 kilometer, next to the road, is the chapel
of the Holy Forty Martyrs, which was built during the Turkish
The chapel of St. Luke the Surgeon
The Saints of the Holy Monastery
St. Meletos (1035-1105) – The founder
of his famous Holy Monastery in Kithairona. He was the Elder of St.
Clement. Many sources hold that he spent some time at Sagmata. His
memory is celebrated September 1st.
St. Clement (1050-1140) – The founder
of the Holy Monastery of Sagmata. His family was from Athens, and at
a young age he came to the Holy Monastery of Osios Meletios, where he
was tonsured a monk by St. Meletios, and remained near him for 30
years. In the beginning of the 12th century, he came to
Sagmata and lived as a hermit “alone except for God” in a came at
the top of a steep rock. During his life he built the Monastery. His
memory is celebrated on January 26th and May 1st.
St. Germanos (1480-1540) – He served
as abbot of the Holy Monastery during the bitter years of slavery [to
the Turks]. He was the spiritual father of St. Seraphim. His memory
is celebrated on January 26th.
St. Seraphim (1520-1602)
– His family
was from the town of Zeli. In his youth he came to Sagmata, and lived
there as a monk for 10 years. For greater asceticism, he fled to the
area of Domvou Elikonos, and built his famous Holy Monastery. His
memory is celebrated on May 6th
The Holy Monastery in later years
The Monastery knew days of wondrous
spiritual greatness, and was a spiritual lighthouse for the region
for centuries. Unfortunately, the national endeavors of later years
did not leave the Monastery unaffected. The occupation by barbarians
halted the processes of the Holy Monastery, along with other
monasteries. Then, the Monastery was sacked and stripped of its Holy
treasures, which continued later by contemporary thieves. The
buildings suffered the corruption of time, and the lack of men
allowed considerable damage. The formerly multitudinous Holy
Monastery remained with a few ages monks, who, without the necessary
resources and difficult conditions tried to salvage what was
possible. From the 1970's, at the concern of the Metropolitans
Nikodemos and Ieronymos, and after, began major restoration
activities. The reconstruction had progressed to the point that the
abandoned Holy Monastery had changed appearance. Since 1977, the
Monastery has been inhabited by a small-numbered brotherhood, and
functions as a male monastery.
Abbot of the Holy Monastery of Sagmata:
Archimandrite Nektarios Antonopoulos...
The Monastery is open to pilgrims daily
from 7:30AM-1PM, and from 4PM until sunset.
The Holy Monastery celebrates:
August 6th (The
Transfiguration of Christ)
January 26th and May 1st
September 14th (The Precious
See the following link for a short video about Sagmata Monastery (in Greek): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6kh7VVFMog. The following is a longer video in Greek, depicting the Abbot discussing the history of the monastery and showing some of the sacred places within: http://apantaortodoxias.blogspot.com/2013/03/blog-post_2206.html.
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!
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