The Monastery of Virgin Mary "Skiadeni" is definitely one of the most picturesque places on the island but also a nice stop for those seeking authenticity. Virgin Mary "Skiadeni" is a beautiful, historic Orthodox church with the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary. It is a renovated, modern and beautiful monastery at the same time, away from the crowds and many tourists, in a quiet environment. Colorful murals, tranquility and utter silence, many cute cats and friendly monks have transformed the monastery into a place of tranquility.
It has a large courtyard area and some shady areas with tables and chairs where you can rest. You may come across friendly and nice monks who offer coffee or mountain tea. The place is blessed, in the middle of nature and in a very well preserved area. The church is richly decorated and the walls adorn very vivid pictures, while the panoramic view is magnificent. The monastery is many kilometers from the city of Rhodes, but worth a visit.
Feast Date: 8 September
Virgin Mary "Skiadeni" has been proclaimed patron saint of Southern Rhodes and every year her grace is celebrated with great dignity. The building complex consists of several houses and each village has its own one. On Sunday of St. Thomas, the Messanagreneans transfer the icon from Lachania to the festival and from there to the village. He stays in Mesanagros and the next day (Monday) they return the icon to the Monastery. From village to village the faithful carry it on foot and it is a great honor to participate in the march.
In addition to finding the icon, other miracles have been done:
According to tradition, the monastery was built by three monks, who were living in a cave in the area at the site "Askitargos" about 300 meters from the monastery in the 13th century. The three monk's monastery found the icon of the Virgin Mary located at the same spot, probably dating to the 10th or 11th century.
History says that during the night the three monks observed "a dark moonlight over the sky". Upon arriving there, they found that the light emanated from the burning candle in front of the icon of the Virgin Mary, which they carried to their hermitage. The icon however returned to its original position, and since then the monks, convinced that it was the will of the Virgin Mary to remain in her place, built a small temple and nearby cells, in which they continued their ascetic life and formed the first monastic core of the Sacred Monastery.
In the silvery icon of Virgin Mary "Skiadeni", the passage of time left a deep darkness, yet Virgin Mary has the most intense, sweet and lively characteristics. With its expressive presence it attracts loyalists from all over Rhodes and Halki. Virgin Mary "Skiadeni" is depicted left-handed, in the classic Hodegetria type and on the upper right side of Her face there is a red stain. It is associated with the legend of the infidel Ottoman, who engraved with his scimitar the cheek of Virgin Mary and then drops of blood appeared. As a result of his dishonest act, his hand was paralyzed. Realizing his mistake and sincerely repenting, his hand returned to its former state. In a sign of remorse, respect and gratitude he inherited much of his fortune.
There are two versions for the name of Virgin Mary and the mountain east of the Holy Monastery. ("Skiadeni" is a form of shadowy meaning in Greek)
The Monastery of Virgin Mary "Skiadeni" is about 90 kilometers from the town of Rhodes and is located at the foot of Skiadi Mountain (west of the mountain). The Rhodes town is accessed from the coast of the island, either on the east side (via Monolithos) or on the west side (via Lindos) and the distance or time is almost the same. You can reach the monastery by car, but as you arrive, the road narrows.
If you decide to go to the Monastery, you can start from one side and return to the opposite, so you can enjoy the beautiful villages, beaches and sights you will meet along the way. Certainly, for anyone who has not traveled the island of Rhodes, the experience is going to be unique and unprecedented.