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Monastery of Dionysiou


The monastery of Dionysiou is located atop a high rock at the sea coast, in the vicinity of an enormous forest area dividing the monastery of Saint Paul, about an hour walk away, and the Gregoriou monastery.     Dionysou is enclosed within high walls with loopholes, similar to a medieval castle. It is rather narrow in the inside. 

It was founded by the Blessed Dionysius from Korysos in Macedonia in the 14th century.   With the assistance of his brother Theodosius, who was the Metropolitan at the time, he was able to gain financial aid from the emperor Alexius III Comnenus. 
Emperor Alexius did not refuse to help the monk and thus, the monastery was built. However, before completion, the monastery was raided and all the monks enslaved.  The Blessed Dinoysius managed to pay the ransom owing to the emperor's generosity.  The monastery was reconstructed by his successor, the Blessed Domitius. 

Dionysiou's catholicon dates back from the 16th century and is dedicated to the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.  This is a highly revered holiday in the monastery.  The temple is magnificent, with walls covered in frescoes dating back from the 16th century, painted by Theophanes the Cretan.   The high tower was built during the same period.  Besides the catholicon, there are 11 chapels.   Dionysiou became idiorrhytmic in 1805.

The miraculous icons of Dionysiou are Our Lady of the Salutations and
an icon of St. John the Baptist.

Among the monastery's relics are a piece of the True Cross and the relics of the following saints: John the Baptist's embellished right hand, John the Merciful's right hand, St. John the Silent, Vasily, Patriarch Modest of Jerusalem, Antipas, St. Luke and also the myrrh of Demetrius of Thessaloniki and St. Peter's chains.    

The old library contains over 800 manuscripts and over 5000 books.  The collection includes a remarkable Psalter written in parchment by the Byzantine emperor Alexius Comnenus.

Nowadays, the monastery is ranked 5th in the hierarchy of Mt. Athos monasteries.
It is occupied by over 50 monks, with another 20 living in other dwellings.


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