Monastery Strofadia - Zante - Zakynthos Greece
Monastery of Strofadia - Zakynthos Greece
During the first half of the 13th century the Emperor of Nikeas, Theodore Laskaris the 1st, was the founder of the Holy Monastery of Strofadi. As was the custom of byzantine emperors it was dedicated to Jesus Christ. According to the historian L. Zois, the Emperor John Paleologos renovated the monastery, approximately in the year 1440 a.d.
The monastery looks like a castle and inside is the Church, something that is unique for an orthodox monastery. Across the castle there is the Chapel of St George, there lay the grave of the Holy Body of our Saint for a few years.
According to Hiotis, in 1530 or 1538, Saracens attacked the monastery and the fathers of the monastery were slaughtered. After this disaster the monastery slowly started to be restored. In 1568 the Zakynthian count Draganikos Sigouros, was named Daniel and ordained Monk of the Monastery of Strofadia.
In about 1570 he became Abbot of the Monastery according to the witnesses of the contracts at that time. As Abbot Our Saint took care of various monasteries until death when his dying wish was carried out, to be buried at the monastery of Strofadia on December 17th, 1622.
A few years later the time came for the transportation of the Holy Body, and miraculously the Holy Body was found unharmed. The Holy Body of our Saint was left at Strofadia till the 19th of August 1717, when there was yet another attack from the Moslems who imprisoned and killed the monks of the monastery, except for two monks who managed to hide in the thicket and survive.
The monks took the Holy Body of our Saint to the town of Zakynthos, where it remains till this very day. Saint Dionysus remains on this island as protector and guardian, granting his blessing to all that ask for it. Together with the Holy Body a part of the monastery of Strofadia was also transported to the town of Zakynthos where it remains till this day. The monastery has a significant library and holy utensils of great value.
Sections of the library and holy utensils are not only found at the monastery of Zakynthos they can also be fouind at the Markian library of Venice.
The building of this historic Monastery suffered great damage from a violent earthquake (6.6 on the Richter scale on the 18th of November 1997).