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Birth of the Theotokos Monastery

The Birth of the Theotokos Monastery is situated on Mount Ptoon at a height of 560 metres at a distance of about a kilometre from the ruins of the Temple of Apollo of Ptoon (4th century BC).  It is clear from details of the brickwork in the lower walls that the Monastery was constructed and founded in the 12th century AD.

The central Church, dedicated to the Birth of the Theotokos (the Holy Virgin Mother of God) was rebuilt from its foundations in 1906, while Averkios Karydi was Abbot (1868-1913).  During that period the Abbot’s quarters and other parts of the Monastery were also renovated.  As time passed, however, the Fathers passed away, and the Monastery was left abandoned from 1940 until 1968.

In 1968 Abbess Makrina (d. 2004) settled completely alone in the Monastery, which by then was in ruins.  She worked hard and carried out changes and improvements to the Monastery buildings that were significant for her time.

In 1987 the present sisterhood came to the Monastery with the late Abbess Photini of blessed memory (d. 2007) and Abbess Silouani was enthroned in 2008.  
The upper parts of the buildings have now been completely restored, a new road has been opened, essential work has been done to the foundations, the roof and the dome of the Church have been repaired, and the inside walls have been painted with icons.

As regards the name of the Monastery (‘Pelagia’ – ‘of the sea’), there are many different views.  One tradition is that it derives from a Roman lady of that name who lived here as a nun.  A second is that there was formerly a lake in the natural ‘basin’ where the Monastery now stands, and the Holy Virgin appeared to shepherds asking them to draw her icon out of the waters, the ‘sea’; thus this icon was called the All-Holy Virgin of the Sea, ‘Pelagia’.  Thirdly, the name is to emphasise the vast ocean of the Mother of God’s love, miracles, graces and gifts to humankind.  Fourthly, it may simply be a means of distinguishing this Monastery from all the other Monasteries in Viotia dedicated to the Mother of God.


Today, with the blessing of the former Metropolitan of Thiva and Levadia, who is now Archbishop Hieronymos of Athens and All Greece, and with the paternal care of our Metropolitan and chief Shepherd George of Thiva and Levadia, the nuns strive to carry on the Orthodox tradition with the hesychastic way of life.  At the same time they are engaged mainly in ecclesiastical embroidery and publishing the books of the spiritual father of the Monastery, Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and St Vlassios.