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KalamataPhotos: Holy Monastery of Aghioi Konstantinos and Heleni Kalogreon of Kalamata

In the historical centre of the city of Kalamata, and near to the Metropolitan temple of Ypapanti, stands the Holy Monastery of Aghioi Konstantinos and Heleni Kalogreon, founded in the year 1796 by Hieromonk and Teacher Gerasimos Papadopoulos from Kalamata (17631844). It was the first monastery for women in the Holy Metropolis that still operates today.

The Temple (Catholicon), dedicated to the Sainted Great Kings and Apostles Konstantinos and Heleni, is built upon a ruined Temple of the 13th century, as can be seen on the outer right side of the Sanctuary. The only fresco that survives is called “True Humility in Intent” (“Akra Tapeinwsi stin Prothesi”), while the Temple’s last extensive renovation took place after the devastating earthquake of 1986.

The Monastery of Kalogreon, true to its name (meaning “for Nuns”), upholds the ideal of female ascetism, and is a vital part of the history of Kalamata and Messenia in general, since for more than 200 years it had been a spiritual refuge for many young girls that chose the monastic life, a warm and benevolent home to many orphans and abandoned children, especially after the German Occupation of Greece. During the recent trying times of the earthquakes the nuns of the Monastery were preparing, for more than a year, with piousness and dedication, food in the monastery”s yard for hundreds of the city’s inhabitants who had lost their homes.

What really set aside the monastery though, making it nationally and globally renowned, was the cultivation and preparation of silk thread, the main material for the weaving of silk vestments, tablecloths, curtains and, above all, the famous scarves of Kalamata, which were first made in this monastery. Many of those items found their way across the world bringing many rewards and honours to the Monastery.

The Monastery maintains a treasury and museum where many Holy Relics of various Saints are kept, along with vessels, vestments, precious Icons and part of the old Templon, while its rich library contains many theological and other books. In addition to the Catholicon there is a second Temple in its main yard dedicated to the Exaltation of the True Cross.

Continuing its tradition according to the teaching of its late Father and the pious lives of its many late nuns, the Holy Monastery of Kalogreon still is the most populated among the monasteries of the Holy Metropolis of Kalamata.

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