The Monastery of Saint in the Geranias Mountains, where its cover is kept, is a living monument of Orthodoxy
In the Gerania Mountains, above the Loutraki, opposite the city of Corinth, is built the Holy Monastery of St. Patapios, where its miraculous scene is kept. They are one of these convents that receive hundreds of pilgrims from all over the country daily. It is a living monument of Orthodoxy, which is cared for by dozens of nuns. Although an important monastery, it was built only in 1952, following an ancient hermitage, dating back to the 13th century.
The site has been associated with Saint Patapios since 1904, when the residents of Loutraki, led by priest Constantine Sousanis, decided to excavate the cave and increase the area around the hermitage. When they tried to throw a terrace, they found themselves “in the sanctuary of relics, abundant and fragrant, bearing a wooden cross and Byzantine coins on it.” Several years later, in 1952, it was decided to establish a monastery there.
Saint Patapios was born in the 4th century AD. century in Thebes, Egypt. At an early age he went to the desert, where he devoted himself to prayer and fasting. He then left for Constantinople, where he met two other ascetics, who were declared saints. Saint Baras founded the Monastery of Saint John (of the Holy Forerunner) of Petra, and Saint Ravoulas practiced near
the Roman gate. Patapios settled in Vlachernes, on the dry mountain, where with the help of his followers he founded the “Monastery of Egypt”.
There he slept and when the monastery was destroyed in 536 AD, his spiritual brother, Saint Vara, transferred the relic of St. Patapios to the Monastery of St. John of Petra, which was under the protection of the royal family of Paleologos and specially Queen Helen of Paleologos, later of Saint Patience. After the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453, the patriarch’s nephew, Angelis Notaras, transferred the relics of the Saint to a cave in Gerania, Loutraki, which had served as an ascetic for the 11th century.
The “unveiling of the cave” was finally made in 1904. There, besides the remains, there was also the hut of St. Patience. The monastery was officially established on August 1, 1952 by the Metropolitan of Corinth, Prokopios Tzavara. The construction of the monastery initially encountered difficulties, as there were only some very small cells-rooms in which nuns lived. In those early years, they found it difficult to bring building materials for the construction of the monastery, since initially there was no clear road for cars to pass, but a path. So the nuns used a donkey to carry the materials and also to carry water (from a source kilometers away) and food (from Loutraki). They often carried building materials or pitchers with water and food on their backs!
Eventually, the construction of the monastery was completed. The hostels, the rooms (cells) for the 40 nuns, the Church of the Assumption (Virgin Mary), the cemetery (where there is the Church of St. Mary of Egypt) and the church in the abbey (the Holy Trinity) were ready. Finally, an exhibition space was created for visitors (with Christian worship items and books). Today the monastery is now accessed by an asphalt road (built by the Army), and there is parking. Also, the monastery has for years had an autonomous water and electricity network. The memory of St. Patapios is celebrated on December 8 (the main holiday) and also on the Day of Reincarnation (Easter Tuesday), as a remembrance of the day his relic was found.
The miracles of the saint
Saint Patapios, according to the testimonies of the faithful, is one of the most miraculous saints in our Church. The nuns claim that his miracles are hundreds, many of which have lived on their own. One tells the elder Patapia and the Senate: “We are often required to go to Loutraki for supplies of the monastery and many other services. The monastery was difficult to reach at that time. The trail passed through cliffs and forests. We tried, of course, not to overnight, so as not to be disoriented, but sometimes this was impossible. We then saw that the Saint was protecting us. Turn on our light and lead us to our destination. ”
There were many incidents of Saint Patapios appearing to the faithful. One such has been recorded in Corinth, starring Metropolitan Prokopios. At first, the Saint appeared to a disciple, then a priest, and told him that the monastery would become. The priest initiated the construction of the monastery, but when Prokopios reached the throne of the metropolis, he turned against his venture. But at some point he fell ill and entered an Athens hospital in 1951. There the priest visited him and when Prokopios saw him, he said: “Saint Patapios told me that he wanted to become his monastery! We cannot do otherwise! ” And he immediately ordered “the then Archbishop of the then Metropolitan Gabriel Kalokerinos to receive the Keys of the Cave, which had the priests of Loutraki, and to deliver them to Fr Nektarios. No other clergyman there without a Metropolitan permit. To recognize the Monastery by decree, which you shall cause through the Holy Synod, and to assist in any way the financial assistance for the rebuilding of the monastery, but also for the exclusion, preparation and placement of monks “, as it was done, starting since August 1952. Since then Metropolitan Prokopios has been regarded as the Great Benefactor of the monastery.
Another incident that has also been recorded is awe-inspiring: At some point the convent’s oil was about to end. The saint appeared to a farmer in Koropi and asked for a can of oil. When the farmer said to him, “Where do you want me to take him, Grandfather?”, He gave him the direction of the monastery and disappeared. The producer from Koropi filled a tin of oil. He went to Loutraki and from there he walked up to the door of the “rudimentary” monastery!
Another case occurred one winter when the cave, as is natural, was frozen and wet – conditions difficult for the faithful to endure. At some point, some of the visitors said to the Saint (!): “And the poorest house has some rug on the carpet. Your own palace here, in the cave, does not exist and together with You we freeze. We have something to find. ” That night the Saint appeared to a lady in Corinth. She told him the pattern (striped, red-black, woolen), but also how many meters of rugs to weave and move them to the Cave. The lady weaved them and went. She lined them up and they fit all over the floor!
But there are also modern miracles of the Saint, which have not been refuted. For example, this with a Catholic woman who fainted when she approached the stage. It has been publicly claimed that a German woman was married to a Greek. Although she performed her marriage in an Orthodox church and baptized her children in an Orthodox church as well, she remained a Catholic. When he was on holiday in Corinth, he also visited the Monastery of Agios Patapios, and tried to approach his cave, but fell faint.
Her husband and some visitors tried to seduce her. After meeting her, they asked her what had happened to her, and she responded with surprise: “Well, didn’t you see? Didn’t you hear? The Saint pushed me and said, “How do you, heretical, approach me?” And from that moment on, she asked herself to be baptized Orthodox, as she did, following a relative indulgence in her parish!
The fame of the miracle-working Saint Patapios has now surpassed Corinth, so he is faithful from all over Greece, as well as abroad to reach the holy cave. The approximately 40 nuns have contributed most to the organization of the venue and the hospitality of the faithful, which starts in the morning and lasts until six in the afternoon. Those who want to visit the monastery can contact the phone: 27440-22496.