Dryovouno Monastery, Near-Death and Afterlife Stories
Father Stephanos of the Monastery of Transfiguration (Metamorfosi tou Sotiros) in Dryovouno speaks very little, mainly with his eyes.
Mother Theologia: “How little do we think of death, although he is so near to us!” commenting on a yet another sudden, unexpected death.
Laokratia told us about a dream: “My friend’s late young son, who had suffered a sudden and violent death through a road crush, appeared in his father’s dream in tears, standing before a closed gate, telling him that ‘they’ do not allow him in. His father, a very faithful man, promptly met Elder Iakovos Tsalikis and told him his dream. By the grace of God, the elder, having a pure nous, was deemed worthy to see the souls of people at the time they were leaving the earth and ascending towards heaven. Elder Iakovos asked him if his son was blaspheming God, and the father sadly admitted so. Then, Elder Iakovos promised to pray for his son, and he also advised him to do alms in his son’s name, fast and pray to the Lord so He will grant him rest”. The poor father made a prostration and obeyed the elder, and after 40 days, he saw again his son in his dream, this time radiant with joy, in front of an open gate, thanking him and telling him that ‘they’ had allowed him in!”
Sister Gregoria: “I just received a message from a friend who had to undergo a difficult operation and she told me that it all went well but that it was St. Luke Bishop of Simferopol and Crimea, the Blessed Surgeon who operated her! In the operating room she felt that she was dying. She started ascending and watched the surgeon and the nurses trying to revive her unconscious body. Then she met ‘somewhere in the air’ St Luke. To be sure she could not really interpret what was happening to her as it was taking place. Still she understood that he reassured her that he would take over as the surgeon was clearly in an impasse. Then she started moving in the reverse direction, got into her body again and found herself in the hospital, having had the surgery performed, with doctors standing around her, looking at her puzzled. But who was this St Luke she had met? It took her a few hours to find out that her mother, a very devout woman, had placed a little icon of his underneath her pillow, just before the operation started!”
Sister Ioanna:”Yesterday at midnight, while I can finishing the writing of an icon and adding the dedication, I realised that although I could write the mother’s name easily, there was no way I could add her late son’s name. I started praying and in the Spirit I ‘saw’ that the mother was in a very good spiritual state, but her son was not at all well and needed our prayers. She felt that God had granted rest to the mother’s soul, but they should do alms in the son’s name and pray to the Lord so He will grant him rest”.
We arrived at the Monastery of the Transfiguration (Metamorfosi tou Sotiros) in Dryovouno on its Feast day. We were a group of faithful, Mother Theologia and some nuns from the nearby Monastery of the Assumption, Dormition (Koimiseos tis Theotokou) of Mikrokastro. What stunning Beauty confronted us!
This male monastery is located a few kilometers above Dryovouno, at a secluded area. Its foundation goes back to 1592, while the murals were completed in 1652, by painter Nikolaos from Linotopi while the narthex in particular is the work of Argyris Kriminiotis.
Kosmas Aitolos arrived here and, after preaching, treated the monks who had been taken ill due to an epidemic. He fetched water from a nearby spring, blessed it, and gave it to the monks to drink, who were then cured. This water has been considered holy ever since and a chapel devoted to saint Kosmas has been constructed at the spring. St. Kosmas received from God the gift of prophecy.
At wartime, the monastery offered valuable services to the local population. It served as storage for ammunition and as base for various chieftains. This is where Dimitrios Feraios, Kapetan Vardas and Pavlos Melas resorted to.
In 1943 it was set on fire by Italians along with its historic records. Its renovation began in 1996, the prime mover being Archbishop Stefanos Rinos with the personal efforts of monks and believers. The parvis offers a sense of tranquility and a spectacular view to Voio and Kastoria.