Agios Nektarios Monastery
The Monastery of Agios Nektarios in Aegina is one of the largest Monasteries of Greece and one of the largest orthodox churches in the Balkans. It is an attraction for tourists arriving from different parts of the world to worship and get healed, due to its reputation for being thaumaturgic, which goes back in history.
Agios Nektarios Monastery was built in 1904. Its current form was set in the period 1973-94, when the locals started building on the ruins of a Byzantine monastery. Its history relates to Saint Nektarios himself, who settled on the island in 1908. He soon became popular, thanks to two miracles he performed according to the folk tradition: He healed a possessed young man and then brought down rain following 3 years of drought after praying to God on request by the Aegineans. The inhabitants of the island perceived these two events as divine signs, so that they considered him a saint even while he was still alive. Saint Nektarios – who is now the patron saint of Aegina – died of cancer in the Aretaio Hospital in 1920 and left behind a rich pastoral, theological and literary opus. His relic, despite the three burials and exhumations, remained unchanged for over 30 years! Thus, he was proclaimed a saint, officially, in 1961, and since then the Monastery is considered a source of hope for the pious believers.
Agios Nektarios Monastery is located midway between the port of Aegina and Agia Marina. It is just 1 kilometer from Paleochora, in an uninhabited area. Upon arrival, you will feel great awe just from the building’s sheer volume.
- In the churches of Agia Triada and Agios Nektarios, as in all Greek orthodox monasteries, admission is permitted only with well-covering garments (no open shirts, shorts, short dresses or skirts). The men, respectively, need to wear long trousers and should have their shoulders covered.
- Begin your visit to the Monastery from the churches near the guesthouse and then down to the large church.
- The Monastery celebrates on the 9th of November (Saint Nektarios’ death anniversary) and on September 3rd (retrieval of the Holy Relics)
- The church was begun by the Bishop of Pentapolis, Nectarios, to house the sisters of Zoodohos Pigi. Today 14 nuns live there.
- The church has two high bell towers and is crowned by four rows of windows (with the characteristic red arch).
- For more than 20 years, the church supports the “Saint Nektarios” Leoussis Foundation, which supplies daily meals to people in need (elderly, persons with mobility restrictions, poor households).