Cave of the Apocalypse

From OrthodoxWiki
Revision as of 01:55, August 6, 2008 by Ixthis888 (talk | contribs) (Hermits of the Cave)
Jump to: navigation, search

The Cave of the Apocalypse is the place where the Voice of God was heard by his disciple and saint, St. John the Theologian; and for this reason it is considered to be the first hermitage on the island of Patmos. The view from this cave and the mysticism of the atmosphere is incredible. It is situated between Skala and Chora.

Today, a pilgrim can see the place at which the Apocalypse was written, the place where St. John stayed, the massive rock that opened up in there and through which God dictated the Apocalypse to St. John, the point were the Evangelist lay his head to rest and a curve on the rock, which he would hold onto, in order to rise - the southern part of the cave has been turned into a church.


In this Holy cave, a little church was also built to honour the translation (metastasis) of the Evangelist, St. John (honoured every year September 26). Later, in the time of St. Christodoulos (1088), another little church was added to honour St. Anna, the mother of the Virgin Mary.

With the passing of time, the chain of hermits at the Cave, have contributed to the addition of cells and little churches around the Cave forming the current building structure in the region today.

Also, near the grounds, are buildings dedicated to the school of the Nation of Patmos, founded in 1713 by the deacon Makarios (Kalogeras). There are also small churches dedicated to St. John, St. Anna, St. Artemios and St. Nicholas.

The Brevium

The Brevium, is a documentary book called The Brevium of the Holy Monastery of Saint John the Theologian and contains written records from priests and hermits about the life of the monastery; beginning from 1552 and continuing to this present day.

In this book, the first written record of the death of a hermit was recorded by a Father Geramios in 1656 [1] about "Father Serafim from Kos died in the Apocalypse about 1634.".

Other important historical facts are recorded in this book including:

  • The Archbishop of Samos, Joseph Georgirinis Milius lived in the Holy cave in 1671.
    • the Archbishop wrote a description of the island of Patmos in which he mentions the hermitages and local worship of the area including a story about a fig tree growing in the area of the monastery showing hte letters of the word "Apocalypse".
  • November 8, 1672 the Reverand Father Ioakim Matilas died in "Theoskepasti" [2].

World Heritage Classification, UNESCO

  • Date of Inscription - 1999
  • Reference No. 942
  • Criteria: (iii), (iv) and (vi)
    • (iii) - The town of Chorá on the island of Pátmos is one of the few settlements in Greece that have evolved uninterruptedly since the 12th century. There are few other places in the world where religious ceremonies that date back to the early Christian times are still being practised unchanged. [3]
    • (iv) - The Monastery of Hagios Ioannis Theologos (Saint John the Theologian) and the Cave of the Apocalypse on the island of Pátmos, together with the associated medieval settlement of Chorá, constitute an exceptional example of a traditional Greek Orthodox pilgrimage centre of outstanding architectural interest. [4]
    • (vi) - The Monastery of Hagios Ioannis Theologos and the Cave of the Apocalypse commemorate the site where St John the Theologian (Divine), the “Beloved Disciple”, composed two of the most sacred Christian works, his Gospel and the Apocalypse. [5] [6]
  • Documentations


  1. Brevium, March 23, 1578
  2. another name for the Cave
  3. United Nations - Copyright © 1992-2008 UNESCO World Heritage Centre
  4. United Nations - Copyright © 1992-2008 UNESCO World Heritage Centre
  5. United Nations - Copyright © 1992-2008 UNESCO World Heritage Centre
  6. Note on Criterion (iv) - A delegate of Thailand raised the question of eligibility of criterion (vi). He thought that the criterion should be applied. This recommendation was also endorsed by ICOMOS and the Committee. Delegates and observers commended the high values of the site and decided to keep the criterion.