Holy Monastery of Xenophontos stands
on the western shore of the peninsula, between the Monasteries
of Docheiariou and St Panteleimon. Its founder was
St Xenophon, who was the monastery’s Abbot.
Due to it’s proximity to the sea shore Xenophontos was frequently the object of pirate raids. In the
13th century it was devastated by Latin pirates. During the period of
Turkish rule it was supported by
wealthy Christians of Vlach descent
During the 16th century the majority of the monks were
Slavs. In the following century it owed huge sums to a syndicate of Jews and it
lead to it’s financial collapse. In the 18th century the Monastery was
re-established, the enthusiastic
of Lesvos added new buildings and brought new life to the Monastery. This was
finished by the time of the outbreak of the Greek Revolution in 1821.
The old Katholikon is on the southern side of the Monastery decorated with Early Christian symbols. Its
construction dates back to the 11th century, although there have been
subsequent additions: it was adorned
with a wooden sanctuary screen in 17th century and its wall-paintings were
Treasures held within the monastery
has 600 manuscripts and
approximately 7,000 printed books. Among the treasures
of Xenophontos are a piece of the True Cross, sumptuous reliquaries containing
the relics of saints, sacred vessels, and vestments.
icons within the monastery
icon of Theotokos Hodigitria. The icon was
initially located in The Vatopedi Monatery but in 1730 it was miraculously transferred to Xenophontos Monastery. The monks from Vatopedi came to take the
icon back but on the next day it was
found in Xenophontos again and it’s located there since then.
icon of Our Lord Transfiguration is a very rare icon painted in
the XIIIth century by was paints on
icon of St. George. The back side of the icon is partially burnt. According
to the myth the icon was put on fire
by iconoclasts but was saved and thrown into the sea and was found by the monks from Xenophontos. It is
believed that the wound from the iconoclast’s
knife bled as if it was a human being’s.