Metropolis of Paronaxia

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The Metropolis of Paronaxia, also referred to as the Diocese of Paronaxia, is under the jurisdiction of the Church of Greece. This diocese has 37 churches, 251 chapels, 18 cemeteries, 18 monasteries and around 35 clerics.



The islands of Naxos, Paros and Anti-Paros cut-off in 1083 from the Metropolis of Rhodes and were established as the Metropolitan of Paronaxia, with the headquarters based in Naxos. Up until 1083, Naxos and Paros were simply Bishoprics.

Christianity in Paronaxia spread during the early Christian period, and the bishoprics were considered among the original established churches, not just in Greece, but of all Christianity. The local ecclesiastical tradition of Naxos, however, affirms that christianity was spread by St. John the Theologian and the evangelist Polycarp of Smyrna (68-155). While St. John was exiled on the island of Patmos, he was authoring the Apocalypse and heard about the island of Naxos. He sent his student, Polycarp, to the island to spread christianity to the locals.

This ecclesiastical tradition is honoured grealy on Naxos. There are two parishes and various Byzantine chapels on the island, dedicated to his honour, especially at the village of Sagriou.

There is an old Byzantine monastery and church that is saved in the area of Filoti.

Tradition holds the St. Helen founded the Church of Panagia Ekatontapyliani - Hundred Doors (Paros) (literally: "church of the hundred doors") during her pilgrimage to the Holy Land 330-337. There is documented evidence that various Bishops from Naxos and from Paros participated at the Ecumenical Councils [1] and the Byzantine period was responsible for the erection, on the island, of many large beautiful churches.

In 1083, Naxos was promoted from the headquarters of a bishopric to that of a metropolitan see.

In 1207, the Franks came to the island, under Marco Sanudo, and conquered the Cyclades and founded the Duchy of the Aegean, of which Naxos was made the headquarters.

Naxos, like the rest of the Cyclades, was incorporated into the Greek state as soon as it was founded, in accordance with a protocol signed in 1830.

See also

World famous Church of Panagia Ekatontapyliani - a Hundred Doors


The current Metropolitan of Paronaxia is His Emminence Ambriosios II (Stamenas) of Paronaxia, born in 1922 on the island of Paros. He was elected and consecrated as the current metropolitan in 1991, replacing His Emminence Epifanios (Kalafatis).


  1. Metropolitan Region of Paros
  2. Metropolitan Region of Naxos

Local Saints


  1. Example, Varahos, Bishop of Naxos participated at the 4th Ecumenical Council (451)
  2. What we know about St. Theoktisti we owe primarily to St. Symeon Metaphrastes ("the Translator"), renowned primarily for his Lives of the Saints (148 of them).
  3. Theoctiste is from Lesbos, however, due to the archaeological and historical importance of her association with the Church of Panagia Ekatontapyliani - Hundred Doors she is also classified as a Parian local saint.

See also

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