Looking the way to the Monastery
While all people consider that Rhodes is a vacation place full of beautiful seaside and roads full of people, we shall show you another route. The route is among the green mountain, full of pictures and noises of the nature that accompany you towards the Holly Monastery of Madonna Ipseni.
You are leaving towards southeast of Rhodes, 50 km away from the town to meet the village of Lardos which is located in the historical Lindos. At the slopes of the mountain is hidden the Monasteri of Panagia Ipseni, which is generously surrounded by the nature.
“My Madonna Ypseni, that you are in the top of the mountain” the folk singers are singing words that proves the height of the place, as well as the name “Ipseni”. A second verse about the name of Madonna “Gipseni” said that it is coming from the layer of plaster that are in the area.
In the middle of 19th century a superscription, was found in the entrance of the Church, showing the year of the building of the Monastery in 1855 by Ossios Meletios, the founder of the Monastery. The Monastery has a long history among the years and it is proved by the historic proofs as a book, which was issued in Venice dated 1852. Madonna Ipseni was a place of treatment for a Christian, who devoted his book to Her after his visit to the Monastery where he met Abbot Meletios “In the year eighteen twenty nine I went to this Monastery, for almost a month in December to be treated and be helped by Meletios Chatzimichail Lachanas Samios Teacher. At this point there is a mismatch in the date of the superscription in the inner place of the church and the written documents.
Ossios Meletios was born in Lardos village during Turkish period. He was baptised with
the name Emmanoue and devoted his life to the God and Prayer. He did not know how to read, but he was guided by his clear and pure soul.
His main occupation was the concentration in the Monastery. During his daily walking he visualised the point that the picture of Madonna of Ipseni was in the root of a tree.
This visual and the guidance of Madonna pushed him to follow the Monastery life. In the place where the picture was found, he built a church devoted to the death of Madonna. So, he was ordained Abbot of the Monastery from Metropolitan.
He lived an ascetic life in a cave and he always helped Christians during difficult periods, enforcing their faith. Also he had received the Holy donation to treat the patients and to give rest to their spiritual obsessed souls.
With this behaviour and his religious action, he was hated and slandered by the Turks. Finally, he proved to be innocent before the Metropolitan and died. He was awarded as a Saint by the Christian and his skeleton, which was scented, has been spread to a lot of places, as well as in Ipseni Monastery.
A lot of people come every day to the church of Kimissis of Madonna to thank He
praying for Her offer, for the rest and peace that She gives. Today, in the Monastery live 15 nuns with the spiritual guidance of abbot of the Monastery Mariam, the previous one was Evgenia. The fellowship has been established by Metropoitan of New Zeland Amfilochios Tsoukos. The Monastery is celebrated on the 22nd of August at the nine-days of Madonna.
Another important action of the Monastery is the campus for girls who are hospitalised there since 1996 till last year in the Monastery. In the above children from Greece, Cyprus and other foundations of abroad participate, to which the possibility for vacation of two weeks is given in order to live in the surrounding of the church by the nuns of the monastery and their guides. For these two weeks the children learn to live with reverence reciprocating to their duties in order to live together with foreign people, have fun with games, songs that the today life forgets to teach them.
Emotionally combined in the magic place of the Church, adults and young people visit it taking consolation, strength and courage to continue their battle. They have combined the atmosphere of the thoughts in Ipseni, the dreams and memories that enforce their faith and develop the spiritual strength of their soul.
Furthermore, because of the magic natural surrounding and the hospitality of the nuns a lot of people are coming to feel calm and awe during their stay in the Monastery. People feel the calmness that is spread all over around and enjoy the importance and the simplicity of the daily sun, the fresh air, the high pine trees, the water of the river, the flowers’ aroma…. It is thanks of Madonna and Ossios Meletios.