Yperagia Theotokos Kassopitra (Holy Virgin), Kanoni
The Holy Monastery of Yperagia Theotokos Kassopitra is built in Figareto, Kanoni. Its simplicity is characteristically unique and is undeniably one of the most important pilgrimages of Corfu. From its position. someone can see the beauty of the island given by God and remember Corfu’s history.
According to the Orthodox tradition, in May 1530, a young man called Stephanos, punished with the penalty of blindness by people who defamed him by accusing him of stealing, went to the Holy Monastery which still existis in the village Kassiopi and he found justice from the Holy Virgin who gave him his eyesight back. Because of this miracle, many new churches were built in order to worship the Mother of God. Among them is the church in Kanoni, which was named Kassopitra.
According to the historical information, in 1754 the ownership of the church was given to the new ecclesiastical secretay, Ioannis Kosmos, Kosmos, Philios was his family name that was written in Libro d’oro.
In 1820, his heir, Anastasios Philios sold the church to the monk Nikolaos Patrikios who was from Kefallonia. His stepbrother and heir, Elias Patrikios gave the church for 20 venetian talera per year to monk Gennadios (George) Vassilis from the Kalarrites of Epirus.
Gennadios dreamt of creating a holy monastery for women. For this reason, he acquired the whole property n 1856 for forty hundred talera. He built the monastery which consists of two floors. He also put fences around it, renovated the church, gave it sacred icons and silver candles along with a golden reliquary with the relics of Saints Martyrs and then he fully established the monastery with three women as the first nuns.
After three years passed by, in 1758, Gennadios died with a reputation of a saint.
His heir gave the monastery to Maria Mavrogiannis and she organised it along with the nunes and their rights. Eupraxia Zabara was the first abbess and Athanasia and Siglitiki Metallinou were the first nuns. In 1826, the monastery became a nunnery and by the end of 19th century its progress and development was obvious.
During the period of the Axis occupation of Greece, bishop Alexander (Dimoglou) transferred the brotherhood in the Holy Monastery of Saints Theodoroi of Stratia in order to protect it and give more opportunities to develop for the next fifty years. At that period and until her death, the only nun was Thekla. In 1991 bishop Timotheos (Trivizas) made the Holy Monastery independent again and changed it to convey. Archimandrite Polikarpos Zervos is the abbot responsible along with the help of the loyal Corfiots for the church with the blessings of our Bishop.
One of the most important treasures is the miraculous sacred icon of the Holy Virgin of Kassopitra. There are also many other sacred icons and reliquaries along with the grave of father Gennadios.
A simple visit to the treasury of the Monastery will leave everyone speechless since it has many rare items, such as sacred icons, holy vestments, books and manuscripts. The sacred icon of the Last Supper made by Philotheos Skoufos around 1665 and the Folklore Museum are two of the most interesting seeings that a visitor can observe. There is also a small guest house for the visitors.
The Monastery’s celebration is on the 8th of May, (Holy Virgin’s miracle), 21st of November (The Presentation of Virgin Mary in the Temple) and the 7th of February, the remembrance of Saint Parthenios Lampsakos.
Apart from the asketical way of living and the hosting of visitors, monks are responsible for the people in prison, whom they help by providing food, medicine, clothes. They also publish books of spiritual content, organise different lectures in the Monastery and they are radio producers in the Radio Station of the Church.