The monastery of Elona
A gigantic steep cliff of the imposing Mount Parnon, with a reddish color, extremely difficult to access, with the shape of a pair of jaws. with the Monastery of Elona in the place of the rows of teeth. yes, that is the scene before which the visitor or pilgrim will be amazed, that is, how people managed not only to arrive there, but even to build and live there for years that are far - very far - from our time!
It is said, then, by testimony from 1873 and 1901, the "Pilgrimage Site of the Holy Monastery of Elona" and "The History of the Holy Monastery of Elona" respectively, that the inhabitants of Kosmas at that time saw the icon shining brightly on the cliff. two anonymous monks climbed and. behold the miracle today! It is an icon "sent by God", that depicts the Virgin Mary holding the baby Jesus!
To reach the monastery, either form Leonidio or from Kosmas, one will take the same amount of time, about 17 km. The visitor, without any further danger, will find himself at the "hanging balcony" between the earth and the sky!
The name "Elona" is a place name and nothing else. Its foundation dates from around 1300 A.D. It celebrates on August 15th, on August 23rd (End of the Mourning for the Dormition of the Virgin) and on November 21st (Presentation of the Virgin at the Temple). It is a much-visited monastery, known worldwide... A multitude of people come to each of its celebrations, but also on other days, from Arcadia and Laconia, as well as from Athens, Hydra, Spetses.
Historically, the monastery contributed to the Struggle for Independence both with money (1500 groschen) and by gathering weapons and hiding the Greek independence fighters! As for the Abbot, Neofytos, he was killed at Argos while fighting the Turks!
In 1972 it changed from a men's monastery to a women's monastery, and it belongs to the Holy Metropolitan Bishopric of Mantineia and Kynouria. Its wealth, in movable property and land - now it is not what it used to be - was considered rather great! Holy utensils, two silver Gospels, two similar chalices, three crosses..., farms, 13000 square meters of vineyards that yielded 110 barrels of wine (!), 1538 olive trees, 700 sheep and goats, 30 cows, 20 horses...
A monastery honored with the Patriarchal cross, like so many others, as the Seal of the Synod from 1730, of Patriarch Serafeim I testifies (it is now kept in the Library of Paris)!
The pious visitor reaches the arched entrance and ascends the wide stairs, passes through a small corridor, passes through the second gate and walks along the 100-meter corridor that has no equal, since on its left, there is chaos! The complex of cells has three floors. Here you also meet the Chapel of All Saints and the Monks' Refuge. The main church is in the style of a domed basilica and has four entrances. Its roof cannot be seen because countless oil lamps flood it! Its sculpted wood iconostasis is an elegant work of art! Its icons bear the dates 1798, 1806, and 1815... The icon of the Dormition of the Virgin is "a supplication by Kamarinos and his son Nikolaos", the image of John the Baptist is "a supplication by Hatzi-Lambrinos from Smyrna", and the image of the Life-giving Font "a supplication by Georgios Nikodimou the icon-painter from Crete"...
The exhibits, with the various relics of the Saints, as well as other treasures, attract the interest of the visitor. During the reign of King Otto, the monastery was declared a landmark! The neighboring small monasteries were dissolved; therefore, their monks joined Elona.
Without exaggeration, the Monastery of Elona is what satisfies even the most demanding person; thus, whoever has not visited it should plan to...