Taxiarches, Aghiou Raphael & Ypsilou
Archangel Michael, the miracle-working protector of the island is worshipped In Madamados at the Monastery of Taxiarches. The sacred relief icon is said to have been molded by a monk with clay made with earth and the blood of his fellow monks who were massacred by Saracen pirates. The monastery is the site of a national pilgrimage and festival that takes place on Myrrh-bearers’ Sunday. The celebrations attracts visitors from all over Greece and includes the slaughtering of a consecrated bull whose meat is shared among the worshippers.
The Monastery of Aghiou Raphael in Thermi is unique as it is a new monastery, built in the 1960s. Year-round, visitors come in search of a miracle from all over Greece to the shrine of the newly sanctified martyrs Raphael, the Igoumenos (Father Superior) of the monastery that stood there, Nikolas, the deacon, and the young Irene, who were tortured and killed by the Ottoman Turks in 1463. The complex has rooms to accommodate overnight visitors. The monastery celebrates on the Tuesday after Easter with a major panigiri.
Ypsilou Monastery was originally built on the crater of a dormant volcano (Mt. Ordymnos) in 1101 and is devoted to Aghios Ioannis (St. John). It was plundered and destroyed by the Ottoman Turks in 1462 and rebuilt in the 16th century. It houses some remarkable gold embroidered stoles and bible covers from 1588. It is located on the road to Sigri right past the turnoff to Eressos. Celebrations are held here on the May 8 and September 26.
The Perivoli Monastery sits in a beautiful green valley between Vatoussa and Antissa. “Perivoli” means garden and the amazing scent of the wild flowers and trees in bloom is everywhere. The monastery has wall paintings from the 16th century.