Metropolis of Kythira
Panagia Myrtidiotissa (The Virgin of the Myrtle Tree) is the protectress of the Kythirians. The tradition of the Holy icon of Panagia Myrtidiotissa says that a shepherd saw in his sleep an angel. The angel was pointing to an area of Kythira where the shepherd would take his sheep to graze. In this vision with the angel, the shepherd saw the icon of the Virgin Mary lying amongst the myrtle bushes. The shepherd awoke from the vision and in the morning went to that location to find the icon. As in his vision, the icon was lying amongst the myrtles. The shepherd took the icon home with him only to find the next day that the icon was missing. When he went to look for it, he found the icon amongst the myrtle bushes again. In honour of this miracle, the shepherd built a small church to house the icon. This story occurred sometime in c. 1160.
Today, this little chapel remains as it was, however, a larger temple has been built above the church sometime in the 19th century. The temple is surrounded by many monastic cells and this monastery is the largest in the Metropolis. The monastery celebrates on September 24 and August 15.
- Elessa was the daughter of "Helladios of Peloponnesus." She moved to Kythira because her father could not accept her christian faith. He followed her to the island and when he found her he killed her; today this is the location of the monastery. This all occurred in 375 AD. Her story is similar to that of St. Markella of Chios.
- St. Theodore of Koroni (Mani) (May 12, c. 922)
- Theodore was from Koroni (Mani) and came to the island from Monemvasia. He stayed in the abandoned chapel of Ss. Sergios and Vacchos for a year before dying c. 922. His relics were found on Kythira and in 1630 Bishop Athanasius (Valerianos) of Kythira founded a church in honour of this saint.
- St. Myronos was from a wealthy family who devoted his entire life to the priesthood and establishing the Christian church during the reign of the Dekios, c. 250 AD. He dies a martyric death.
Churches, monasteries, and chapels
The Metropolis of Kythira has a total of 30 churches, 300 chapels, 30 cemetery churches, and 4 monasteries.
- Church of St. Andrew, Livadi
- This is one of the most important churches belonging to the metropolis because of its complex architecture and historically important "Hagiografies" (wall murals) dating to the 12th and 13th centuries.
- Church of St. George on the Mountain
- This is a small church on the mountain between the Holy Monastery of the Hope of the Virgin Mary and the village of Avlemonas. In the area of this church, archaeologists have found a Minoan temple and various vessels and effigies.
- Church of St. Demetrios
- This church is a cluster of four smaller churches/chapels with a common internal area.
- The Holy Monastery of St. Theodore of Koroni (Mani), Aroniadika village.
- This monastery is founded over the small chapel dedicated to Ss. Sergios and Vacchos.
- The Holy Monastery of Hope of the Virgin Mary
- The Holy Monastery of the Hope of the Virgin Mary, known as "Agia Moni," was founded in 1840 by Kolokotronis and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary; the founder had promised to return to the island and assist in the construction if the Greek Revolution of 1821 was successful. The monastery celebrates August 6.
- The Holy Monastery of St. Elessa of Kythira
- The Holy Monastery of St. Elessa of Kythira is built over the spot where St. Elessa was martyred. The temple was built in 1871 and has few cells.