Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Holy Monastery of Chrysopigis, Chania, Crete

The Holy Monastery of Chrysopigis, Chania, Crete (source)

The Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegic Monastery of Chrysopigi lies a short distance from the town of Chania. It was founded in the middle of the 16th century in the last period of Venetian rule in Crete. The Monastery is dedicated to our Lady of the Life-Giving Spring, who is known popularly as ‘Chrysopigi’, the Golden Fountain.
The founder of the Monastery was a physician and philosopher by the name of Ioannis Chartophylax, a prominent citizen of the town of Chania, who founded the Monastery in the middle of the 16th century.
During the period of Venetian rule the Monastery of Chrysopigi developed into an important spiritual centre for Chania with numerous monks and a rich library.
Icon of Panagia Chrysopigis ("The Golden Fount", or the Life-giving Spring of the Theotokos) (source)
In 1654, during the period of Ottoman rule, the Monastery became a Patriarchal Stavropegic establishment. It suffered greatly at Ottoman hands, sharing the fate of the rest of Crete. In 1821, on the outbreak of the Greek Revolution, it was destroyed and abandoned. In the years following 1848, however, the Monastery was renovated and rejuvenated with the advent of new monks.
During the Second World War the Monastery was commandeered for use as their Administrative Headquarters by the occupying German forces. The monks were forced to leave, grievous damage was caused to the buildings and the architectural structure was seriously compromised. There followed a period of what appeared to be terminal decline.
In 1976 the Monastery of Chrysopigi was transformed into a coenobitic community of sisters. The new community restored the Monastery from its foundations, while at the same time pursuing the work of renewal in a spiritual and social dimension.
At the Monastery of Chrysopigi, worship is the centre of life. The Divine Liturgy and all of the daily services attract many young people from near and far.
The feast day of the monastery (source)
The sisters of the community ply the traditional monastic crafts: icon-painting and also the fresco painting of Churches, ecclesiastical embroidery, stone carving, book-binding, bee-keeping, candle-making, and the production of incense and of hand-made soap et al.
An important activity of the Monastery is the publication of books. The books containing the words of Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia have been translated into more than twenty languages.
The sisters cultivate the Monastery lands using organic farming methods. The organic produce of the Monastery lands provides food for the community and for visitors. Olive oil which is produced in larger quantities is placed on the market in appropriate packaging.
The olive groves of the monastery (source)
The monastic community seeks to raise ecological consciousness through environmental education programmes aimed at school children of all ages and at students, as well as other groups of young people.
At the same time, the treasures which survived in the Monastery are conserved and preserved in the Ecclesiastical and the Folk Museum.
The Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegic Monastery of the Life-Giving Spring-Chrysopigi
73100 Chania, Crete
Tel: +3028219-91125, 28210-29840
Fax: +30 28210 97600
Some of the holy relics treasured by the Monastery, including the left hand of St. John Kalyvites (source)
Besides the katholikon of the Monastery, there are the chapels in honor various saints, many in caves surrounding the monastery. The chapels include those in honor of St. John the Theologian, St. Catherine, St. Charalampos, St. John Kalyvites, St. Arsenios of Cappadocia, the Holy Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, St. Anthony, Panagia Myrtidiotissa / St. Silouan the Athonite, and the Holy New Martyrs of Crete.
Video of the consecration of the katholion of the Monastery, on September 2nd, 2012, by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew (source)
The Monastery also had St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia as a spiritual Father and guide, so they honor and celebrate him. For example, the Abbess of the Monastery recently gave a wonderful talk in Canada on the life of St. Porphyrios:

Patriarch Bartholomew recently blessing the groundbreaking at the Monastery for a new church in honor of St. Porphyrios (source)
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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