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AEGEAN ISLANDS

The Apocalypse

According to Christian tradition, John was exiled to the island of Patmos in 95 AD. It is believed that with the help of a man named Prochoros, who is thought to be his student, he wrote the Apocalypse, the last book of the New Testament, based on the visions he had. At the same time he preached and baptized the inhabitants. The so far unknown island of Patmos was afterwards considered sacred and the cave of the Apocalypse became a place of pilgrimage.

In the cave there is a threefold split in the rock, from where, according to John, the voice of Jesus could be heard at the time of the revelations like “a voice of thousand waters”. In the cave it is believed that there is the imprint of John. In the area surrounding the cave of the Apocalypse many ascetics and monks have settled since the time of Saint Christodoulos and helped in building the church of Agia Anna (Saint Anne) and the chapels of Agios Nikolaos (Saint Nicholas) and Agios Artemios (Saint Artemius). Later on, cells and auxiliary spaces were added. The whole complex was named Apocalypse. The cells and the enclosure you can see today were initially built by the Metropolitan Bishop of Caesarea Grigorios Nisyrios and some others were added later by Agios Makarios Kalogeras. New additions to the buildings were made in 1903-1905 and in 1921, when the complex was completed. On the right of the enclosure you can see the ruins of the old School of Patmos.

 

THE TEXT OF THE APOCALYPSE

 

The text of the Apocalypse, the most liturgical and eschatological book of the New Testament, consists of 22 chapters. It is the only apocalyptic book that the official Church included in the canon of the Holy Bible. As the writer states, it is the apocalypse that was given to him by God through an angel. Unlike the apocalyptic literature of that time, the writer has a name: it was Ioannis (John) that wrote the book while being exiled in Patmos. During the 2nd century, John is identified to the same named apostle (according to Irenaeus, Ioustinos etc.), while during the 3rd and 4th century this assumption was established despite certain reservations.

After the short introduction (1,1-8), in the first part (1,9-3,22) the Apocalypse allegorically refers to the conditions of the Church through seven letters addressed to the angels (bishops) of the seven churches in Asia. In the second part (4,1-19,10) the future course of the Church is predicted and the triumph of the enthroned God appears. In the third part (19,11-22,5) Jesus Christ appears and the final triumph of the kingdom of heaven, the final judgment and the end of the world are stunningly described. In the epilogue (22,6-21) the proximity of God’s presence is highlighted. The book of the Apocalypse has deeply affected theology and the Church in general, leaving its mark on the spiritual world of Christianity.

 

Moni Zoodochou Pigis (Monastery of the Life-giving Spring)

 

The monastery was founded in 1607 by the hieromonk Parthenios Pagkostas and has a very interesting architecture. The complex is in a Π shape and includes wings of two-story cells, the priory and the ovens.

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