Metropolis of Symi
The Metropolis of Symi constitutes the geographical island of Symi, in the Dodecannese, of Greece but is under the jurisdiction of the Church of Constantinople and is most famous for its miraculous icon of Archangel Michael o Panormitis.
The current metropolitan is His Grace Bishop Chrysostomos (Dimitriadis) of Pamphilos, who was consecrated as Bishop of Pamphilos on November 8, 1980. He was born October 26, 1944 in Imbros of Turkey and ordained a priest August 6, 1968.
Island of Symi
Symi island is rocky and barren and has thrived on the success of its sponge-diving fleet and boat-building industry. The island was largely paganistic with a strong mythology dominating the islands culture. By the 17th century it was considered the third wealthiest island of the Dodecannese. There are reputedly over 300 monasteries, churches and chapels on the island.
The Local Presence of the Archangel Michael
- See main article Archangel Michael of Panormitis
Residents of this island and metropolis call the Taxiarhis Michael of Panormitis a thief [tongue in cheek]. According to tradition, if you ask a favour of the Archangel you must vow to give something in return. If the dedicatory offering is not made the Archangel Michael will find a way to take it for himself. As a result, the interior of the Monastery of Taxiarchi Michail Panormiti is decorated by a dazzling array of votive offerings (tamata) from many pilgrims locally and world-wide, including small model ships made of silver and/or gold.
Monasteries and Churches
- The Monastery of Taxiarchi Michail Panormiti at Panormitis bay, is the most popular attraction of this little metropolis. It is a place of regular pilgrimage, especially for Greek sailors worldwide.
- The Monastery of Agiou Mihail Roukounioti is a 15th century monastery built like a fortress in Gothic and folk architecture. Outside the fortress walls one can see century old cypress trees in the shape of umbrellas. It houses many 14th century frescoes and includes a rare semi-circular 15th century icon of the Hospitality of Abraham that was painted by a famous Cretan artist named Stylianos Genis.
- The late 19th century church of Saint George. This has an unusual pebble mosaic of fierce mermaids. In the folklore of the islands, these were responsible for the fierce storms that would sink ships.
- The Monastery of the "Megalos Sotiras" (the Great Saviour).
- The Church of the Virgin (Panaghia) on the hill with the castle was built on the site of the temple of Athena Acra.
The following churches are to be found in the wider area of the island:
- St. John Tsangrias,
- St. Prokopios (14th century) and
- St. Marina of the Neras (15th century).
- In the area of Emborios there is a chapel dedicated to the Ascension of Christ in Kokkinochroma Bay which is next to the sea.
- There is also a church dedicated to the Panaghia Apokoui (who listens) on the inlet of Nimos.