November 9, 2016

Holy Monastery of Saint Theoktiste in Icarus

On the island of Icarus is found the Holy Monastery of Saint Theoktiste (or Lefkados Monastery), in the village of Pigi, where in an unknown manner her holy relics were discovered. It is not known when this small monastery was founded, which is in the old municipality of Messaria (modern Frantato), but it probably existed before 1688. An inscription says it was painted by Hatzi Panteli from Chios in 1688. It has fifteen monastic cells which were later used for hospice. Though at one time there were over a hundred monks here prior to 1688, in 1982 the last two nuns left.

According to tradition, the Saint’s body was stolen by sailors from her native Lesvos, but was seized en route by the inhabitants of Icarus, and it is here that the grave with her presumed relics is shown today. When the holy relic of Saint Theoktiste was discovered, it was brought to a cave called "Theoskepaste", where they prayed for the identification of the relics. Today it lies in a chapel dedicated to her in this area.

Though the monastery celebrates her feast on November 9th, a procession with her sacred relics takes place on the first Sunday of September. In 1960 there was also the translation of a portion of her relics from Icarus to Mithymna (today called Molyvos) of Lesvos (where the Saint came from), which is annually celebrated there on the last Sunday of June.