Saint John the Theologian
Inside the central Monastery Church, or Katholikon, of Chrysopigi, on the north side, there is a chapel dedicated to Saint John the Theologian. Built in the 19th century, the chapel is incorporated harmoniously into the architectural form of the main church building.
Saint John the Theologian, known as the Evangelist of Love, is one of the Twelve Apostles, a son of Zebedee and a brother of the Apostle James. He is the disciple who stayed at the foot of the Cross of the Lord when all others had abandoned Him, and the one to whom Christ appointed the care of His Most Holy Mother. Saint John preached the word of Christ in Asia Minor, mainly in Ephesus. He is the author of the Gospel of John, three Epistles, and the Book of Revelation, which he wrote during the time of his exile on the island of Patmos. He reposed in peace at an old age in Ephesus around the year 105. His memory is celebrated on the 8th of May and the 26th of September.
On the south side of the Katholikon of Chrysopigi there is the Chapel of Saint Catherine, which, as the side Chapel of Saint John the Theologian, is also a 19th century extension of the main church building. The existence of a chapel dedicated to Saint Catherine, the patron saint of Mount Sinai, confirms the centuries-old historical and spiritual links between Crete and Sinai.
Born in Alexandria in the beginning of the 4th century, a daughter of pagan parents, Saint Catherine was renowned for her noble birth, wisdom, and beauty. With the spiritual guidance of a saintly Elder called Ananias, she came to know Christ. Consumed with love for the Heavenly Bridegroom, Saint Catherine wholeheartedly devoted herself to Him and vigorously defended her faith. With the wisdom of her words, she drew the most prominent pagan rhetoricians and philosophers of the Empire to embrace the Christian faith. The heathen Emperor Maxentius subjected her to terrible tortures and, in the end, ordered to behead her. Her memory is celebrated on the 25th of November.
On the north side of the courtyard of Chrysopigi, next to the central entrance, is the Chapel of Saint Haralambos. It was established in the year 1986 by Abbess Theosemni, who held the Saint in special reverence. A piece of his holy relic is kept at the Monastery.
Saint Haralambos was born in Magnesia around 90 AD. Being a priest, he zealously preached the Christian faith, illumining people whose souls had been submerged in the darkness of paganism. At the age of 113, the saint was arrested by Lucian, the pagan governor of the district. After monstrous tortures, which he endured calmly by the power of faith and prayer, the Saint gave up his holy soul to Christ. Before departing the world, the holy martyr asked Christ to grant protection to the people and the places where his memory is honoured. His memory is celebrated on the 10th of February.
Saint John the Hut-Dweller - Saint Arsenios the Cappadocian
The chapel dedicated to Saint John the Hut-Dweller and Saint Arsenios the Cappadocian is in the eastern courtyard of the Monastery. The left arm of Saint John and a piece of the relic of Saint Arsenios are among the holy relics treasured at the Monastery.
Saint John lived in Constantinople in the 5th century. At an early age he ran away from his parents’ luxurious home and became a monk. At the monastery he was an example to all because of his virtuous life and many spiritual feats. With the blessing of his Elder, he returned to his family’s estate as a stranger and settled nearby in a small hut. There the Saint lived in humility and prayer as a nameless beggar. He fell asleep in the Lord at a young age, leaving behind a saintly example to his parents and others who knew him. His memory is celebrated on the 15th of January.
Saint Arsenios was born around 1840 in Farasa, a Greek village of Cappadocia. After his studies he became a monk and served as a priest and a teacher in Farasa. He was loved and respected among both Greeks and Turks for his great virtue and the many miracles he worked. During the population exchange, when the Greeks of Asia Minor were to move to Greece, the Saint safely guided his fellow villagers to their destination. Forty days after they reached Greek soil, the Saint reposed in a godly manner. In 1958, his venerable relics were uncovered by Saint Paisios, who had a strong spiritual bond with Saint Arsenios. In 1970 the relics were moved to the Monastery of St. John the Theologian in Souroti and in 1986 Saint Arsenios was canonised by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. His memory is celebrated on the 10th of November.