The first story associated with the Monastery of Our Lady of the Angels is that of the Kapodistrias manorial family, who built the Monastery in 1696 AD.

The two children of the noble, Barlaam Kapodistrias, had gone fishing and got caught in a bad storm, which endangered their lives. With tears in their eyes, they prayed to the Virgin Mary promising that they would each build, on part of their property, a church dedicated to Her grace.

Shortly thereafter they built the church of Panagia tis Kyra, which is often referred to in the area as “Kyra”. Outside the Holy Step the inscription reads “Life from life to life, life to me”. δωρησαι, ΙΧΝΣΤ (1656). In 1700 they also built the  Monastery of Panagia Arkoudilas “which was named after its location.

In the Monastery of Our Lady of the Angels, surrounding buildings were built which were utilized as a convalescent home for people who had been exposed to the plague. The hitherto uninterrupted operation of the Monastery was stopped during English Occupation of Corfu. The occupiers ordered a large portion of it to be burned, for disinfection purposes. During the destruction of the buildings, old important documents of the Monastery were completely incinerated.

The 20 monks, who resided there at that time, sunk the well 13 metres deep so that it would not be contaminated. Later, when the danger passed, it was reopened by the villagers. Saint Spyridon, however, did not let his island suffer, Corfu was miraculously saved from the plague; a deadly, highly infectious disease. A few days before Easter of 1630 many patients saw, in their sleep, the Saint blessing them and giving them health. The night guards of the Old Fortress saw a supernatural light hovering above the church of Agios Spyridon.

The number of cases reduced until they finally stopped on the day of Vaion (Βαϊων), Palm Sunday in 1630. The day of Vaion has since been established as the day of celebration of the miracle of the Patron Saint of the island, Saint Spyridon.

Many buildings that had hosted plague patients, such as the Monastery of Our Lady of the Angels, were consequently abandoned. The deterioration of the Monastery was evident, until a Corfiot nun connected her name with the area, and "gave life" to the monastery of Our Lady of the Angels.

The second and most recent story, for which the monastery of Kyra in southern Corfu is particularly famous, is that of the old Anastasia. It was in 1933, when Anastasia Vlachou, had a calling to restore the abandoned church of Panagia Kyra, so left the monastery of Agios Nikolaos Melikion Lefkimmi, where she was a nun, and settled in the ruined church of the Most Holy Theotokos Kyra Lefkimmi.

Within two years, she managed to rebuild and reopen the church. She lived alone for twenty years until, in 1955; the Monastery of Our Lady of the Angels was inhabited by 7 other nuns. Anastasia passed away on September 22, 1979 AD, at the age of 69. She is fondly remembered for her great work and the ascetic life that followed. In 1991 AD the monastery was officially recognized by Presidential Decree, while its celebration takes place every year, on August 15, on the feast of the Assumption of the Virgin. The bell tower with the three bells is a typical example of Corfiot architecture.

Inside the church, there is the miraculous icon of the Lady of the Angels, while the Hagiographies of the 17th and 18th century are also impressive. On the ground floor of the church the Archontariki and other auxiliary spaces are to be found, while on the first floor there are the monks’ cells and the guest house.


Η Μονή της «Κυράς των Αγγέλων»

Ἱερά Μονή Ὑπεραγίας Θεοτόκου Κυρᾶς τῶν Ἀγγέλων

Text Composing: Marilia Makri
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