At the monastery of the “Living” Saints Raphael Nicholas and Peace in Mytilene
The Holy Monastery of Saint Raphael is located in the NE. of the island and at a distance of 3 km from the settlement of Thermi.
The current Monastery was built on the site of an Early Christian basilica.
In her monastic life we distinguish three periods:
(a) from the 10th century to 1235,
(b) from 1433 to 1463 – year of its destruction by the Turks, with the last abbot Saint Raphael and
(c) from 1962 until today.
The Holy Monastery of St. Raphael is now one of the most famous pilgrimages of our Orthodoxy. It is located a little above the Spa of Thermi on the Hill of Karyes, which became a place of martyrdom.
In the first period in 1235 it was a nunnery with the Abbess of Agia Olympia and 30 Nuns. They were all martyred by the Saracen pirates.
In the second period in 1463 the Monastery functioned as a male one with Abbot Saint Raphael.
Saint Raphael and Saint Nicholas after the fall of Constantinople in 1453 settled and lived peacefully for about 9 years in the Monastery which was dedicated to the Genesis of the Virgin.
In 1463 a movement took place in Thermi and the Christians went up to hide in the Monastery. With them was Master Theodoros with Proestos Vassilios (father of twelve-year-old Agia Irini) and his family.
The Turks arrived at the Monastery on Good Friday, arrested Abbot Raphael, Deacon Nicholas, the family of Proestos and the Teacher.
They began torturing them to confess where other Christians were hiding and to deny their Faith.
Agia Irini, after cutting her hand in front of her parents, put her in a jar and burned her.
In Saint Raphael they made many tortures. They beat him with bats, dragged him by the hair and the beard, beat him savagely, embroidered him with spears and then hung him upside down on a walnut, sawed him by the mouth and cut off his jaw on the third day of Easter, the Λαμπροτρίτη, where their memory is celebrated.
Saint Nicholas was tied to a walnut tree, embroidered with spears and seeing his Beloved Abbot being saw, he fainted.
It was April 9, 1463.
Then they set fire to the Monastery and left.
The hitherto unknown history of the Monastery was revealed by Saint Raphael himself to various persons.
The hoe and the archeological research verified everything he said.
The memory of Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Irene is solemnly celebrated on the third day of Easter (Lambrotritis).
For this day a multitude of believers arrive from the ends of the earth.
See a rich photo report by Kyriakos Diamantopoulos, from the monastery on the hill of Karyes in Mytilene.
Source: διαφορετικό by www.diaforetiko.gr.
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