One of the oldest monasteries of Athens, Attica (from the 10th century) is the Annunciation of the Theotokos on Mount Amomon (location known as Nea Makri). In the years of the Turkish domination many barbarian slaughters took place, whereas one of the martyrs was Saint Ephraim.
The Holy Relic of Saint Ephraim was found miraculously before some decades. In 1945 the devout blessed nun Makaria (passed away in 1999) went to the ruins of the ancient monastery of the Annunciation of the hill Amomon, at the northeast slopes of Pendelikon. From divine impulse, she created a cell there and she started cleaning the ruins of the old Church so she can reconstruct it. There many times when she speculated that on that earth there had lived during the centuries holy monks and she prayed “to meet or one of them to appear to her”. A voice in her soul, initially soft but gradually louder, said to her “Dig and you will find what you covet” and miraculously a part of the forecourt of the monastery had appeared.
Thus, in 3rd of January 1950, having a worker for other works at the monastery, she put him to dig in the spot where her soul indicated. The worker was negative, he wanted to dig wherever else apart from that spot, but after prayers, the worker was persuaded and he started digging. The spot there had a half destroyed fireplace, a wall and things that showed that sometime there was a cell of a monk. After digging down 1.70 m. the first finding, a skull, was exhumed and the whole place filled with fragrance….(It was January 3, 1950, 9 in the morning). Slowly and with attention the abbess Makaria took out all of the lodge and placed it on a box which was on the grave. It was obvious that it was for a priest because his robe was intact. The Saint appeared in her sleep and thanked her, telling his name, “Ephfraim”.
Since then the monastery of Saint Eufraim is one of the biggest pilgrimages in Attica and in whole Greece.
Saint Ephfraim and his martyrdom
Saint Eufraim, from Trikala of Thessalia, when he was kid, he found shelter in the monastery in order to avoid the mass kidnapping of children. In 1424 the Turks violently invaded in the monastery of the Annunciation of Theotokos and slaughtered all the Fathers of the monastery. The Saint was absent at a cave on the mountain for prayer and when he came back, he saw the corpses of the Fathers. He buried them and he mourned.
The year next, in 1425 the barbarians came back and found the Saint. They arrested him and they tortured him for eight and a half months with great cruelty. In the end they hanged him upside down from an old mulberry tree which was at the precinct of the monastery (it is saved today) and pierced him with a big lit stick in his stomach, in the area of the navel, and subsequently they nailed him on a tree. The Saint flaming continued his prayers and ended his life from the Turks on the 5th of May of 1426, at the age of 42.
The female monastery of Saint Ephraim celebrates each year on the date of the celebration of Saint Ephfraim (5th May), on 3rd of January (date of the finding of the holy relics of the Saint) as well as on the feast of the Annunciation (25th of March).
The monastery, which belongs to the holy metropolis of Kifisia, owes its current status to the blessed abbess Makaria.
The holy communal monastery of the Annunciation of Theotokos, where Saint Ephraim is, is at Nea Makri at the Hill of Amomon, Attika. You can go either with a car (on the square of N.Makri on the road of L.Marathonos, you turn at the light left) or by bus from the “Pedio tou Areos” (or from the stance of Metro “Ethnikis Aminas”) and you will go to the square of Nea Makri. From there you can take either a taxi or you can go by foot (from the square it is about 3 kilometers).
Telephone of the monastery 🙁 +30) 2294091202