The Holy Monastery of Saints Raphael, Nikolaos and Irini


The Holy Monastery of Aghios Raphael is located in the northeastern part of Lesvos, 3 km from the town of Thermi. This is a two-storey church with impressive hagiographical content. The present monastery was built on the site of an older Early Christian basilica, dating to the 12th century. It was initially a nunnery with first abbess Aghia Olympia and thirty nuns. In 1235 Saracen pirates attacked the monastery and killed all the nuns. In 1463 Aghios Raphael made a pilgrimage to the monastery with his friend, Nikolaos, and converted it into a male monk monastery. In this period the locals rose up in a failed rebellion against the Ottomans. The Turks then decided to exact revenge on the villagers. The terrified locals sought refuge in the Monastery. Aghios Raphael refused to comply with the demands of the Ottomans who then embarked on torturing and killing Raphael and Nikolaos in the end. Twelve-year old Irini, the magistrate’s daughter, was burned alive inside a clay jar, after severing her hand. In 1964 abbess Evgenia Kleidara built completely the monastery from the ground up dedicating it to Neomartyr Saints Raphael, Nikolaos and Irini. At present the monastery attracts thousands of pilgrims and visitors from all over Greece and the Orthodox world. The relics of Neomartyr Saints Raphael, Nikolaos and Irini are kept and venerated here. The day of their martyrdom at the hands of the Ottoman Turks (9 April) is a day a religious festivities with the participation of masses of worshippers.

Region Loutropoli Thermis

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