A Brief History of Ypseni Monastery
The Holy Monastery of the Virgin Ypseni lies on a mountain near the village of Lardos in Rhodes. Its history dates back a few centuries.
The founder of the Monastery is the Blessed St Meletios who was born in the village of Lardos, Rhodes, at the end of the 18th Century.
From his youth he loved the virtues of sobriety, self-control and humility, and in this way attracted Divine Grace to himself. In one of his night time prater he saw the “Gladsome Light” coming from heaven and remaining fixed at the roots of a centuries old olive tree. There, he found the all venerable icon of the Virgin of Ypseni.
In prayer he received a message from Her, thar in the place where the Holy Icon was found he was to build a Church in her name. So he moved into the ruins of the monastery of the Monastery of Ypseni (or of the Heights as the name means in Greek) devoting himself to the angelic monastic way of life.
He was ordained as priest and abbot of the monastery by the the Metropolitan of Rhodes. Through his prayer and his ascetic struggles he gained so much boldness before God that he was able to drive out evil spirits that ruled people’s souls. Out of love for his fellow an he turned toward his enslaved fellow Christians and offered missionary work of national importance. He went around the villaes hearing confession, he encouraged them in their faith, and guided them. He was a guardian and vigilant shepherd of Christ’s flock, zealous for the traditions of the fathers and a fiery preacher of truth. This work made the Turks resentful and slanderous. Their slanderous accusation was told to the Metropolitan of Rhodes at the time, who was obliged to call him to defend himself. The Blessed St. Meletios, unable to bear this wound to his soul, breathed his last, right in front of the bishop. When his holy relics were removed, an indescribable fragrance sprang forth bearing witness to the grace he had received. The grace bearing holy crown of St. Meletios is kept at the Holy Monastery of Ypseni.
About 200 years after the blessed falling asleep of the saint, the fulness of time came, and His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew I and his Holy Synod, placed St. Meletios officially in the calendar of saints on the 27th November 2013.
The memory of our patron, St Meletios of Ypseni, was commemorated again this year, with many of the faithful in attendance.
On Wednesday evening we celebrated Festal Great Vespers and on Thursday morning there was a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. The holy services were led by His Eminence, the Metropolitan of Rhodes, Kyrillos, who stressed the universal appeal of the saint and his importance for the Orthodox Church. The sermon on the actual feast day was preached by the Chancellor of the Holy Metropolis of Ierissos, the Holy Mountain (Athos), and Ardamerios , Archimandrite Chrysostomos Maidonis.
St Meletios was entered in to the calendar of saints by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the 12th February 2014.
The feast of the Holy Great Martyr Phanourios was celebrated with splendour in the Church dedicated him in the Old City of Rhodes. with the participation of local dignitaries and thousands of devout believers.
Vespers was led by His Eminence Kyrillos, <Metropolitan of Rhodes, whose sermon spoke about the martyrdom and miracles of St Phanourios and stressed the importance of the feast for the people of Rhodes. He especially referred to the need for the relevant authorities to find a solution in order to restore the Church, a monument from the 12th Century.
Vespers was followed by a grand procession of the Saint’s icon through the streets of the Old City. Also,in the Church for veneration was the Holy Crown of St. Meletios, founder of the Monastery of Ypseni.
Announcement by the Holy and Sacred Synod
The Holy and Sacred Synod convened today, Wednesday, November 27, 2013, with His All-Holiness presiding for its regular scheduled meeting, for the purpose of examining items on its agenda.
During this session, the Holy and Sacred Synod approved the following:
a) The proposal of the Canonical Committee to enter the hieromonks Porphyrios Kafsokalyvitis and Meletios of Ypseni (Rhodes) in the registry of the Saints of the Orthodox Church.
b) The voluntary resignation of His Eminence Metropolitan Panteleimon of Belgium from the pastoring of his eparchy and, at the proposal of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the unanimous election of His Grace Athenagoras of Sinope to fill the vacancy in the Metropolis of Belgium.
From the Chief Secretariat of the Holy and Sacred Synod
Vespers of St. Meletios 2012
Divine Liturgy of St. Meletios 2012