The Holy Monastery
Saint Marina monastery, together with the holy spring, lies in Apikia, north of the capital of the stunning island of Andros. The monastery is today one of the most significant pilgrimage sites along Greece.
The monastery is dedicated to the the 3rd-century Great Martyr Saint Marina, who is greatly revered by all Greeks. It dates to 1325, when Saint Marina miraculously appeared to an ascetic elder in Litres and pointed him to a cleft of a rock, where he found her lost icon. Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus provided the funds for the monastery’s establishment.
During the 16th century, though, the monastery was burnt down thrice during piratical raids, which resulted in a loss of splendor and a total decline; in 1743 only five elderly monks were left. Then, Saint Marina intervened and she led hieromonk Sophronios to her monastery; after observing multiple miracles and visions, he decided to stay there, he sold his property in the Peloponnese, renovated the monastery and turned it into a convent in 1746. Many noble Andriot damsels received the angelic habit there, which led the number of nuns to reach a hundred. The glory of Saint Marina’s monastery, as well as the famous handiworks of its silversmithing, engraving and silk production plants, were well renowned.
Due to a decree of the Bavarian regency in 1833, Saint Marina’s monastery was forced to close down. Her miraculous icon was sold at an enforced auction to Empirikos family, who bought it with a mind to save it. This family put the icon into Panagia church in Chora, Andros, where it was kept for 146 years. In the meanwhile, the monastery was turned into a stable and its buildings were demolished.
The restoration and reconstitution of Saint Marina monastery
After almost one and a half centuries, one day in 1975, Metropolitan Dorotheos I of Syros, Tinos and Andros visited the ruins and ordered his deacon Cyprianos, who had formerly been an Athonite monk, to restore the monastery. Cyprianos initially refused, having other plans in mind, but he humbly accepted the miraculous visitation of Saint Marina, who that same night appeared to him in a vision and told him:
“I am Marina, along with my two sisters, Paraskevi and Catherine, who lived with me in the convent. Otto’s decree casted us out and now we live just down from the monastery. But it will be opened and we will come to it again to dwell there! You will see me every day! Together we will strive to restore the monastery. Go and accept your bishop’s commandment. Alright, Cyprianos?” Expectedly so, the incumbent Hegumen Archmandrite Cyprianos Chimonas immediately obeyed the Saint and from the following day he started struggling for years with a shovel and a wheelbarrow, until he removed the debris and restored Saint Marina’s monastery of Andros.
In 1976, thanks to Fr. Cyprianos’s persistent endeavors, the miraculous icon of the Saint Great Martyr moved from the church in Chora into the monastery, and has since been treasured there. Furthermore, Fr. Cyprianos also discovered the holy spring that the Saint had revealed to him in his dream. Elder Cyprianos, who is acclaimed for his hospitality, tirelessly continues his efforts for the renovation of the monastery.
Saint Marina of Andros has worked many miracles in the latest decades, of which the most famous is the miraculous healing of little Andreas Vasiliou from Cyprus. In the same monastery is also kept another miraculous icon of the Theotokos, whence dead branches bloom again during the Dormition period.
The monastery celebrates on July 17, Saint Marina’s feast day, with thousands of pilgrims in attendance.
Address: 845 00 Andros
Telephone: +30 22820 24074