Saint Raphael Monastery
Located on the hill Karies, in the municipality of Thermi, the monastery is an important landmark on the island, with a unique two-story church. In the monastery are kept the relics of Saint Raphael, whose name the monastery bears, of St. Nicholas and St. Irene, who were martyred there. The history that the monastery carries is momentous and has left its mark in time.
After the uprising of the Christians of the island in 1463, the Ottomans launched an attack on the monastery, where they burned the 11-year old Irene, in front of her parents’ eyes and then killed the monks Raphael and Nicolas, because they refused to reveal the leaders of the uprising. The fire that was lighted completely ruined the monastery, so it was built up again later, when there, were discovered the bones of the above martyrs. It is said, that this story as well as the location of the correct place, was indicated by Saint Raphael through appearances he made in some local believers’ sleep.
Saint Raphael is well known for his miracles, with visitors from all over the country flocking to embrace his miraculous image. The stories around the name are many, because apart from the miracles recorded by the local, women say that they hear steps at night and see his shadow under the trees. You can read the whole history in the books of Abbot of St. Rafael, who devoted her life in the monastery.