October 18, 2014

Where the Apostle Luke Wrote His Gospel and Celebrated the Divine Liturgy

According to Byzantine historians and the imperial chryssobull issued to the Monastery of the Great Cave (Mega Spelaion) in Kalavryta of the Peloponnese in Greece, the Apostle Luke wrote his Gospel in this cave fifteen years after the Ascension of Christ. The Theophilus to whom the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles is addressed is believed by many to have been the governor of this region of Achaia. Here also the Apostle Luke celebrated the Divine Liturgy on an altar of stone and left behind an image of the Virgin Mary which he made of wax, mastic and other substances.

This Holy Icon was discovered here by divine revelation in the fourth century by a young shepherdess named Euphrosyne from Galata and a Monastery was established by two brothers from Thessaloniki named Symeon and Theodore. The Monastery was destroyed by fire four times: in 840, in 1400, in 1640 and in 1934 - the Holy Icon always being saved.

The Monastery today, which is an awe-inspiring eight-story structure, is vibrant and contains many sacred relics, among which is the miraculous Holy Icon of Panagia Speliotissa which was formed by the Holy Apostle Luke the Evangelist. The Holy Apostle, together with the Sacred Monastery and the Holy Icon, are celebrated together annually on October 18th.