During your visit to the Monastery called Vrissiani or Sifnos Vrissi monastery, you will be able to see unique items inside the Museum of Ecclesiastical Art which is hosted there. In this same area of the monastery, preexisted the church of Virgin Mary. The temple of the church was made of wood with remarkable pictures in 1750. Among the exhibits of the museum there are manuscripts with liturgies, gospels, reliquaries, sacred utensils, Holly clothes and the special hand made chasuble of Kassiani.
Sifnos Vrissi Monastery photo gallery
The Holly Monastery of “Panagia Vrissis” or of the “Most Holy God’s Mother of Vrissi” or of “Kyrias Vrissianis” or of “Natal of God’s Mother in Vrissi” as it is referred to the copy of the A Codex,was built by a pious man, named Benjamin, who held the ecclesiastical dignity of “Logothetis” before 1660.
The Monastery between 1639 and 1676 became a Patriarch’s “Stavropigio” (the Monastery has been founded and blessed by the Patriarch Himself) according to the official letter of Patriarch Parthenios. The Monastery is settled on a low hill, a few kilometers after the village of Exabela.
The main building is enriched by the cross shaped basilica rhythm dome Church, witch is dedicated to the Nativity of God’s Mother (Theotokos). On the top of the dome stood an iron cross witch was testifying that the Monastery had a Stavropigiaki value. On the bell tower there are two bells, witch ring the traditional way of ringing to the Island of Sifnos. The icon of the Theotokos of Vrissi, carrying Her Son, dominates the iconostasis of the Church, witch is made of cabinet wood. The other icons are these of St. Vassilios, St. Stefanos, St. Laurentios, St. Ioannis the Evangelist, St. Savvas, St. Antonios, the secret (Last) Dinner and the Gather of the Angels.
The door entrance to the Holy of Holies is adorned by the icons of the Apostles Peter and Paul and St. John Chrysostome and St. Greororios the Theologian. The entrance to the Church is impressive, marble made, and through a colonnade corridor with marble capitals drives the visitor to the inner court with the cells of the monks. The style of the entrance is called “longias” in the island of Sifnos and predicts the greatness of the architectural traditions of Sifnos. The Church of the Monastery is surrounded at the back by the cells of the visitors, at the right by the Abbot’s Residence and the Sacristy, at the left by the cells of the monks, at the south by the kitchen ant the traditional Refectory, witch offers hospitality and traditional food to hundreds of visitors twice per year (8th of September and 11th of February).
The Monastery of Vrissi was always men occupied and as we read to the saved manuscripts there was taken place a special written agreement before the entrance of the pious men into the community of the Monastery. At the beginning the Monastery was convent and since 18th century peculiar. The administration of the Monastery was held by the Abbot Council, witch was assisted to its duty by a Committee, named “Committee of Care”, with members from the people of Sifnos, who were elected by the Fathers of the Monastery. Since 1650, thirty five Abbots have been elected for the position. Fathers of the Monastery have been elected as Bishops and Patriarchs, between them Filotheos Bishop of Andros (1759), Athanasios Bishop of Thiva (1780), Seraphim Bishop of Skyros (1764), Crysanthos Bishop of Sillybria (1737), Filotheos Bishop of Caesarea (1801), Joseph Bishop of Sifnos (1789) and the Patriarch of Alexandria Ierotheos B (1847). The Monastery offered mush to the National Revolution of 1821 against the Turks and to several corresponding issues as well. Today the Monastery has offered land for the Helicopter of Sifnos, schools, Sport Center and money for public roads and other public works.
As time goes by, the Monastery has made a fortune, inside and outside the island of Sifnos. The Fathers of the Monastery are trying hard to keep the small property of the Monastery.
The biggest fortune fort he Monastery remains the small churches and the “metochia” (churches or buildings depending to the Monastery). Between them the Monastery of the Prophet Elias, St. Athanasios after Katavati village, Panagia Chryssopigi at the East of the Island, near the port of Pharos, Sts. Anargiri at Pigi village, Panagia Kitriani and Panagia at the area of Tosso Nero. The Monastery gradually owned ecclesiastical treasures as vestments, holy objects, icons, candles, vademecum, pectoral crosses, manuscripts Codex, witch have been carefully protected and saved until today.
In the recent years the Monastery has been renovated and today it is a real ornament between the other Churches of the Island of Sifnos. The works for the renovation of the buildings started in 1968 by the ex. Abbot Amfilochios Chrysolaras and completed today by the Abbot Ioannikios Lamprinos. The memorable Metropolitan of Syros Dorotheos encouraged the efforts of Abbot Ioannikios and Archimandrite Sofronios Darzentas to finish the works. The Monastery has always been supported by the Municipality of Sifnos and the people of Sifnos.