January 31, 2022

The Monastery of Christ of the Forest on the Island of Paros

The Monastery of Christ of the Forest is also known as the Monastery of Transfiguration of Christ and the Monastery of Saint Arsenios of Paros. This is a convent constructed at a distance of 6 km from Parikia, close to the Valley of Butterflies. The katholikon of the monastery is dedicated to the Transfiguration of the Christ, while on the northern side of the courtyard, there is a church dedicated to Saint Arsenios (1800-1877), the patron saint of Paros. In fact, the grave and the skull of the Saint are guarded in this monastery because the Saint reposed here on January 31, 1877, since he was the spiritual father of the nuns of this community.

Before turning into a monastery, the building was actually the residence of the Mavrogenis Family until 1793, when the family donated it to the Monastery of the Panagia Ekatontapyliani. In 1805, the building housed the first monastic community, and this transformation took place through the efforts of Saint Cyril Papadopoulos (1745-1833), who was the abbot of the Monastery of Saint George on the island and is commemorated on July 11. When Saint Arsenios reposed in 1877, the monastery became idiorrhythmic, until a hundred years later in 1977 when it returned to being coenobitic. The Church of Saint Arsenios in the Monastery of Christ of the Forest celebrates twice a year, on January 31st for the feast day of the Saint, and on August 18th, for the translation of his relics. It was consecrated on September 15, 2002.