The Holy Skull and Icon of St. Panteleimon the Greatmartyr and Unmercenary, Panachrantou Monastery, Andros, Greece
The dome of the Katholikon of Panachrantou Monastery, Andros, Greece
The Panachrantos Monastery of Andros (also Monastery of St. Panteleimon) is located on the Greek island of Andros in the Aegean Sea, an island of the Cyclades. “Panachrantos” refers to the monastery’s dedication to the “Immaculate” Theotokos. The monastery celebrates July 27 and August 15.
The establishment of the monastery is attributed to Stragegos (General) Nicephorus II Phocas in the tenth century, who subsequently became emperor of the Eastern Roman empire (ruled 963 to 969). By legend, two monks, promising to pray for his victory, asked Nikephoros for financial aid when he stopped on the island on his way to battle in Crete. He agreed and promised aid for them to build a monastery provided he was victorious. With his victory, he fulfilled his promise.
The monastery is located in the Geronakas mountainous area high on the side of Mount Katafigio at an elevation of about 2,500 feet (750 meters). Surrounded by a strong wall, the monastery appears like a “Byzantine” fortress. The site provides an exceptional view of Chora and the surrounding area.
According to tradition, the monastery was built in a place shown by the icon of the Holy Mother (Panachrantos). The icon is attributed to St. Luke. The icon is still kept at the monastery on a stand next to the southern door to the altar of the main church of the monastery. This monastery also possesses the relic skull of St. Panteleimon. The relic and an icon of Panteleimon stand next the Panachrantos and are the pride of the monastery as well as the island of Andros.
Agios Nikolaos Andros : The Monastery of St. Nicholas in Andros was, according to tradition, built in the 8th century though it is not mentioned in any historical books until the 14th century. This monastery has an elaborate architectural structure, including a bell tower and complex arches completed during the recent restoration of the monastery in 1760. The monastery houses wonderful frescoes and an architecturally superb wooden screen. The Byzantine icon of Panagia Blachernae, donated in the 15th-century by the monastery in Constantinople of the same name, is still kept in here, known in Greece as the Panagia of Andros, a miraculous myrrh-bearing and scented icon of the Virgin of the Root of Jesse.The Panagia of Andros (the “Root of Jesse”) is an ancient and myrrh-streaming icon, always surrounded with a powerful sweet-spicy fragrance. Great wonders occur from this holy icon and myrrh streams from it endlessly. There are even reports that people have been resurrected from the dead through the miracle-working icon.
There is also an ancient icon of the Virgin Mary that has significantly changed its facial expression over the last few years. The authorship has turned exceedingly sorrowful and tears have been flowing from her eyes. In 1999, this icon cried unceasingly coinciding with the bombardment of Serbia at that time. The monastery also houses the icon of St. Nicholas, and some of his relics; the icon was authored by a nun named Leondia who wove her own hair into the icon. According to the locals of this metropolis, this icon is the most active in the entire of Andros.
The Monastery of Agia Marina is located opposite Apoikia of Andros ,where comes the famous water Sariza , dates from a.d. 1325. Agia Marina shows herself to a Monk and indicates him to find her icon in a slot of a rock! During the 16th century, the monastery burns three times from the pirates, losing the old glamour, and at 1743 counts only 5 monks .Then Agia Marina make another miracles, and brings in the Monastery the monk Sofronio. He sells his property in Peloponnese and fully refurbishes the monastery and converts it to a female Monastery in 1746 a.d .
Agia Marina Monastery has been closed at 1833 a.d. The holy icon of Agia Marina , stay in the Holy Temple of Andros, Panagia, where remains for 146 years!!! The monastery has been fully destroyed at this period.
One and a half century after, the call of Agia Marina! Suddenly one day in 1975, the Metropolitan of Syros, Tinos, Andros Dorotheos, passing from the ruins of the monastery asks with pain from the monk Kypriano to rebuild the Monastery! In the begging he denies having other plans, but receives the visit of Agia Marina, which appears at the same night in his dreams and says: ‘ I am Marina, me and my two sisters’ lives above the monastery. You will see me every day. Together we will rebuild the monastery…’
So Monk Kiprianos, works hard for five years and rebuild the Monastery! Since then the monastery became famous, and Agia Marina protect all the children.