The Monastery of Taxiarches (the Archangels) is situated between two picturesque villages of beautiful Pelion, the village Agios Vlasios and the village Agios Georgios of Nilia. If someone wants to go to Volos from there, it will take them half an hour. The Monastery is situated at an elevation of 650m, on a spectacular balcony with a panoramic view of Pagasitikos bay.
The Monastery’s roots go back to the middle Byzantine times, when Pelion, that was known as “Vouno ton Kelion” (Mountain of the cells) was a famous Monastic community. The Monastery, then, looked like a fortress and it was surrounded by a small castle.
In the Monastery, except from the main Catholicon (that was built in the 15th century), there are also two temples in the complex of its buildings. Specifically, there is a chapel that is dedicated to the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Isodia tis Theotokou), to the local latter-day martyr Stamatis and to the Saint Nikodimos Agioritis. There is also another small temple that is dedicated to Timios Prodromos (John the Baptist), to Megas Antonios and to the Saint Patapios the Thaumaturgical.
The Monastery first flourished in the 12th century AD. It was a male Monastery from the times of its foundation to 1920 and it had an eventful history through time, during which it influenced deeply the life and history of that place. It also became a pilgrimage in all over Thessaly, through its multi-faceted ecclesiastical and national presence.
The Monastery reached the climax of its glamour and spiritual influence the second half of the 19th century, when Gavriil Ioasaf, a spiritual ‘child’ of Mount Athos, was its abbot.
After his peaceful death in 1911, the historic Monastery was desolated, as there were no monks. It was also stripped of its big property and it was completely abandoned. Finally, the thaumaturgical icon of the Archangel Mihail (12th century) was robbed by smugglers of antiquities.
However, the grace of the Archangels and the blessings of the old Fathers of the church, whose graceful holy relics are placed in the charnel house of the Monastery, continue to work hard for its revival. In 1976, the Monastery came into operation again, but there were nuns there that time. In 1988, the 26 nuns that constitute the Monastery now, started to gather there.
The nuns of the Monastery are engaged in things such as gold-embroidery, hagiography, sewing of the priestly vestments and the production of incense. Particularly, the nuns deal with the operation of the radio station (MONACHIKI DIAKONIA), from which all the religious services of the day and night are beamed at 87,5FM. Finally, the nuns have a rich, uplifting 24-hour programme of speeches and byzantine music.
Telephone number: 24280-93590
Main source: the Cathedral of Dimitrias and Almiros