July 26, 2017

Monastery of Saint Anthimos and Saint Paraskevi in Lepeda of Kefallonia

The Monastery of Saint Anthimos and Saint Paraskevi in Lepeda of Kefallonia is a female monastery that unfortunately is empty today following the death of the nun Hermioni, who served here for almost a century. It was established in 1568 as a male monastery, with Laurentios Mantzavinos being the first abbot. He along with other monks built the entrance to the cave, where they found the Holy Water of Saint Paraskevi. There they built a church and dedicated it to the miraculous Saint, when Timothy Tipaldos was the archbishop.

Saint Anthimos Kourouklis (1727-1782), the Blind Ascetic of Kefallonia, received his education as a child from Abbot Anthimos at this monastery, and when he was twenty he became a monk here. After a missionary journey throughout the Cyclades and Dodecanese, he returned to this monastery in 1769, two years after it was destroyed in a devastating earthquake. Saint Anthimos had the monastery restored and converted it into a convent. After this he embarked on further missionary activity, but having been informed of his impending death by the Lord he returned to the Monastery of Saint Paraskevi, where he reposed in 1782. Since then his name became associated with the monastery.

Another luminary of this monastery was Abbess Anthimi Paschali, who shepherded the nuns of the monastery for 44 years (1892-1936). She was a holy nun with the gift of clairvoyance. Many souls were gathered under her care at the monastery, leading many women to become nuns.

After the earthquakes of 1953 the monastery became deserted, for it destroyed the cave church. The church and the two-story building today were built after this earthquake. The only original part of the monastery left is the gate, and visitors today can go and venerate the miraculous icon of Saint Paraskevi. It is under the care of the nuns from the Monastery of Saint Gerasimos of Kefallonia.

The monastery celebrates twice a year:

A) July 26th for the feast of Saint Paraskevi

B) September 4th for the feast of Saint Anthimos

The Monastery with the original Gate

The Cave of St. Anthimos

The Grave of Abbess Anthimi Paschali