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AmorgosSights: The Holy Monastery of the “Theotokos the Hozevitissa” Amorgon.

The holy monastery of the Theotokos the Hozevitissa, is located northwest of Patmos in the island of Amorgon in the Aegean Sea which is the most easterly island of the Cyclades. It was built at the start of the 9th century during the reign of the Byzantine Emperor Michael of Ragava. The icon of the Theotokos which is found at the monastery arrived in a miraculous way at the rock of Amorgon, having been thrown by someone into the sea. On the occasion of the arrival of the icon a monastery was built by the pious emperor Alexion 1st Comnenos in 1088 to which was given the title of the builder.

According to another tradition, the holy icon of the Theotokos was transferred to Amorgos by migrating monks from the Monastery of Hozeva of Palestine which they abandoned due to continuing persecutions by the iconomachs. Thus the name Hozevitissa was given to the icon. The name of the area of origin, is a corruption of the correct “Hozeviotissa” (Living in Hozeva) and used since 1432AD. It is worth noting that the name of origin is in the inscribed area on the silver cover which dates back to the 17th century is Hozivitissa MP (MΗΤΗΡ=Mother), ΘΥ (ΘEOY =of God). The tradition is very interesting that the monks while they were passing through Cyprus fell in the hands of robbers who having taken the icon, they tore it in two and cast them at sea. The monks retrieved the pieces and tried to glue them together when suddenly they saw them connecting by divine power and becoming restored without any trace of the tear. Continuing their journey they arrived at Amorgon where they became impressed with the similarity of the place to the one in Palestine and built the Holy Monastery at the location it is today.

The Monastery as is today, consists of rooms (cells) of the monks, storage and aid areas etc.

The Holy icon of the Theotokos Hozevitissa is placed in a specially built shrine in the right side of the Church close to the iconostation. Also, at the Monastery are kept relic holders with relics from the Saints Mena, Artemios, Eustratios, Theodosios the Coenobite, Basil the Great, George, Haralambos and Panteleimon. The Church which is found on the highest place onside the alcove of the Rock, is honoured by the name of the Entry of the Theotokos on the 21st November.

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