The Monastery Today

In 1998, the monastery acquired a new brotherhood, which has been trying for the past seven years to revive the coenobion. With the sense of responsibility and concern for the present and future of the monastery they started a truly hard working task. The problems they had to face were complex and numerous.

Due to the fact that the monastery had been operating as a museum for a long time, the repairing and restoring works started from the first day, in order to restitute the monastic order and function. The program of masses and the monastic life was reorganized.

In 1998, the monastery welcomes the icon of Panagia Triherousa (Virgin Mary three-handed) and places it in a central position in the Katholikon as a symbol of honor and prayer to the mother of Christ.

The monastic land was registered, in order to restore what was dedicated to the monastery by our ancestors. In monastic land in the region Kamari, 90 acres of biological vine was planted and 1500 olive trees. In the land in front of the monastery, 700 olive trees were planted. Around 10000 plants, flowers and trees have been planted around the monastery.

At the same time, after a request to the Ministry of Culture, a full record of all monastic treasures has been made. The conservation of dozens of treasures and icons has started in the monastery and its metochia. The restoration of some metochia, such as that of Panagia Kalamiotissa in Anafi (upper and lower monastery) has also started and the works in the metochia of Hagios Georgios Thalassitis and Hagia Triada in Emporeio and of Hagios Georgios and Agioi Apostoloi in Pyrgos  have been completed. The restoration project of the metochi of Pyrgos has begun, where hospices, outbuildings and laboratories are being contructed.

In 1999 the monastery organized evening talks in Belloneio Cultural Center, with guest lecturers from various places of Greece.

In 2000 the monastery published a calendar with the monastery’s history with the opportunity of the 290 years from its founding. The same happened with the calendar of 2001 that was dedicated to the Divine Liturgy and that of 2004, dedicated to the Metropolite of Thera, Amorgos and the islands Gabriel (1910- 1983). Also, in 2007 a new calendar dedicated to the importance of orthodox monasticism was published

The monastery also published a book of indoctrination with the name “Thesvitis”, printed in 3000 copies and aiming at the benefit of the devotees.

It also created a publications house under the name “Thesvitis” and “Pyrforos”. Until today, many books have been published such as: «Nectarios Terpos and his writings», « Library catalogue of the Holy Monastery of Prophet Elias in Thera and of the Metochion of Panagia Kalamiotissa in Anafi», «Penthos» that refers to the devoutness of the monks, «Prayers of St. Augustine », «A monk is», holy officiations and much more. It has established and operates a cultural center of the Monastery in Kamari and a youth center in Anafi.

The monastery also contributed to the creation of a Social Center of Family Support in Thera, the founding of a youth chore and orchestra of the Metropolis, courses of traditional dances in regions of the island for a total number of 150 children.

The problem of the antennas

 The biggest, most serious and complicated problem of the monastery was the antennas and their removal from the monastery and its surroundings. Since 1956, the settlements and the antennas of OTE (National Organization of Telecommunications) are hiding the east side of the monastery. To make things worse, in 1973, the state television building was erected next to the monastery, hiding its façade. At the same time, with the emergence of the mobile phone companies, the space was used for putting more antennas. The present brotherhood made every possible effort to remove all these antennas from the monastery’s surroundings, by trying to offer a different place to the companies for their placement.

Innumerable trials and a heap of juridical and ministerial decisions took  place and the European Court of Human Rights called to task the Greek State. The next step was the removal of all the antennas and the restoration of the holiness of the space.

The immediate plans of the brotherhood comprise the restoration of the Monastery, the creation of a sacrarium in the state television building, where the treasures will be exhibited to the pilgrims, the creation of a Student Residence in Athens, the restoration of the Christian House in the Metropolis of Thera and the erection of hospices, a Conference Hall and a Manuscript Restoration center in the rest antenna buildings.

The prophet’s fair and other festivals

 On July 20th, the saint’s day, the monastery is a pilgrim site for the whole island. In the afternoon, a crowd of pilgrims comes to take part in the Big Esperinos (evening prayer). After that, a vigil is made and early in the morning an episcopal Divine Liturgy, by the Metropolite of Thera. After the mass, the icon of the prophet is carried around. At the end, bread and cheese is handed out. In the past, the pilgrims were offered legumes or fish, cheese and barley bread. The founders memorial is made in the afternoon. The icon of the prophet is also taken out and carried around in times of drought. In the litany the monks of the monastery take part, the holy clergy and a crowd of people, escorting the saint, who set the clouds during the times of Achaav with one word, so that he sends the rain to the dry and waterless Thera. Other important feasts of the monastery are the Evening Prayer of Love on Easter Sunday, the feast of Hagios Nektarios on December 4, as well as the feasts of the chapels and the metochia. Apart from the festive officiations though, the everyday mass is the heart of the monastic life of the community.

Information on the Monastery’s visiting hours

The pilgrims can visit the Monastery during the days and times of officiation, which are the following:

Wednesdays:            16.00-17:00: Evening Prayer (15.00 wintertime)

Friday:           16.00-17:00: Evening Prayer (15.00 wintertime)

Saturday:       6:00- 8:30: Divine Liturgy

                       16.00-17:30: Evening Prayer           (15.00 wintertime)

Sunday:          4.30-8:30: Matins and D.Liturgy

Daily:             09:00-13.00: in the chapel of Hagios Nektarios

• The Matins and the Divine Liturgy is officiated during the major feasts.

• During August (1-15 August) a daily officiation of the Evening Prayer and Orison is made. Starting at 17:00.

• During the Holy Week and the Week after Easter a detailed program is posted on the monastery’s gate.

The program of the masses is subject to change so it is better to call the Monastery before coming (22860- 31210).

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