Monastery St. Archangel Michail and The Holy Spring
Monastery of Saint Archangel Michail is located 15km far from Potos, on the cliff, which has a fantastic view of the sea and Athos. This monastery was very important for the history of Thassos and it is still today.
The monastery is important primarily because of the holy nail of Christ’s hand from the crucifixion, as well as because of the spring of holy water that has healing power. Thousands of pilgrims are coming to Thassos to worship St. Archangel Michail.
At the end of the 11th century, monk Luke lived in a single-family life in a village in central Thassos. Here, he built a chapel dedicated to St. John Bogoslov (Theolog) and the village got the name Theologos.
In time, he felt bothered by the daily meeting with the locals of Theologos village, and after 14 years in Theologos, he decided to isolate himself and move to an uninhabited area on the southeast side of the island. There he built a small chapel with a dome that still exists.
After a few years, he went further to the west and settled near the place where the monastery is now located.
After twenty years spent in this “desert”, St. Archangel Michail told him that in three years God would take him to himself. Luke suspected that Archangel himself was in front of him, to be assured by St. Archangel, he banged his stick in the rock and the holy water flowed out of it. He told him to raise a church in that place in order to treat the people, both spiritually and physically.
From that day onwards, those who are sick were looking for medicine.
After the death of the monk, his student Xenophont remained in the monastery, who soon realized that he could not manage the monastery himself, so he decided to move to the Holy Mountain at the monastery of Philoteus. It was then decided that the monastery of St. Archangel joins the monastery of Philotheus, and thus belongs to him today. That is why celebrations are celebrated in the monastery along with the old calendar.
When the Turks occupied Thassos in 1453, they didn’t like that the monastery of St. Archangel is respected so much (prayers from all over Byzantium were coming) so they decided to do something to prevent it. One Turk came to the spring and destroyed it. He fell dead at the same moment, but the spring was dry. As the sick people continued to come to the spring for healing and waited for the water to stream again, the Saint Archangel reported to the priest Dimitris and said that down of the church is a cave and that the prayers can enter it, found the spring and be healed.
Even today there is a spring in the cave. It is located below the church and is led by a long walkway, a tunnel that is very narrow and low, that you must come on the knees to the spring. They say that the spring cures the sick who with faith on their knees come to it and wash their face. Rare are the tourists who go to the spring.
The beginning of the path to the spring is located near the parking lot, before the large gate to enter the monastery. There is a gate that is usually closed, but you can open it yourself or if you can not open, call the nun to help you. The downhill to the spring is hard, and the path is very steep so you go down at your own risk. Somewhere at the beginning of the road is a notice that the road to the spring is not safe and this should be taken seriously. Sneakers are required. It takes about an hour from the monastery to the spring, which is quite long because of the high temperatures during the summer.
Monastery is open to visitors from 08:00am-02:30pm, and from 04:00pm-07:30pm.
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