The Sumela Monastery is a Greek Orthodox monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Panagia, meaning “All Holy” in Greek) at Melá Mountain  within the Pontic Mountains range.

The monastery was founded in 386 AD during the reign of the Emperor Theodosius I (375 - 395), Legend has it that two priests undertook its creation after discovering a miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary in a cave on the mountain.

During its long history, the monastery fell into ruin several times and was restored by various emperors. During the 6th century, it was restored and enlarged by General Belisarius at the behest of Justinian.

It reached its present form in the 13th century after gaining prominence during the reign of Alexios III (1349 - 1390) of the Komnenian Empire of Trebizond, established in 1204. At that time, the monastery was granted an amount annually from imperial funds. During the time of Manuel III, son of Alexius III, and during the reigns of subsequent princes, Sumela gained further wealth from imperial grants. Following the conquest by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II in 1461, it was granted the sultan’s protection and given rights and privileges that were renewed by following sultans. The monastery remained a popular destination for monks and travelers through the years.

In 1682 and for a few decades, the monastery housed the Phrontisterion of Trapezous, a well-known Greek educational institution of the region.

The monastery was seized by the Russian Empire during the 1916-18 occupation of Trabzon. The site was abandoned in 1923, following forced population exchanges between Greece and Turkey. The departing monks were not allowed to take any property with them, so they buried Sumela’s famous icon under the floor of the monastery’s St. Barbara chapel. In 1930, a monk secretly returned to Sumela and retrieved the icon, transferring it to the new Panagia Soumela Monastery, on the slopes of Mount Vermion, near the town of Naousa, in Macedonia, Greece.


I wish a very merry Christmas to Orthodox & Eastern Catholic Christians :)

This video actually made me smile :) This happened on Theophany day 2015 in Greece. This is the mystery of the Great Blessing of the waters. Well, this time the amount of blessed water was bigger than the usual, so many believers were wet! That’s why video’s title is “Holy Water Bucket Challenge” :)

Many Greeks these days laugh because of this video, and make fun of the priest, because priests usually use small bunches of basil instead of these bouquets, though I think it was quite clever, as all people, even thouse that sit in the last seats became blessed from the Holy Water :) So it depends on how you see things ;)

Today is a pretty important day in the history of my people, and it’s commemorating a pretty important event. The 28th of October is celebrated among Greeks, as it was today in 1940 where the Greeks refused an ultimatum given by Mussolini to support the Axis forces. They said they would rather go to war. It was a moment where principals where not sacrificed, where hope for humanity was upheld, and we can all learn from their solidarity. 

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"It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees" - Emiliano Zapata 

Okay, history, patriotic and moralistic rant over.