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The Monastery Of Machaira

Photos and description

Very close to Nicosia among lush forests is one of the most famous active Orthodox monasteries in Cyprus - monastery of Machairas. Its name he received because of the miraculous icon of the Mother of God Mageritense, which translates as "knife". According to the legend, the icon was painted by the Apostle Luke, was brought to Cyprus from Constantinople during the iconoclasm and hidden in the mountains. For a long time no one knew exactly where she was. But in the XII century two monks-hermits Ignatius and the Neophyte has failed to find the cave, which served as a hiding place for the icon. To Wade through the thickets in the cave, the monks used a nearby knife. Since the Greek word for "knife" sounds like "mahari", then the icon itself and the monastery, built on the site of the cave, and was called the Machaira.

Funds for the construction of the monastery at the request of a Neophyte, and Ignatius was allocated by the Emperor of Constantinople, Manuel Comnenus - first put there a small chapel, and over time, in that place appeared a whole complex of Church, residential and farm buildings, which were actively developed. In addition, the Machaira received the status of a stavropegic, i.e. independent from the local dioceses, and reports directly to the Patriarch.

Unfortunately, two large-scale fire in 1530 and 1892 years - almost completely destroyed the monastery, he managed to save only the famous icon of the Mother of God. Burned even the same knife with which she was found. Gradually, however, the Machaira, albeit slowly, but recovering. Rebuilt, it was only by 1900.

After gaining of the independence of Cyprus in 1960, the monastery became better - all the buildings have been restored, new chapels and churches. Also there was a monument to Gregory Afxentiou - "eagle Maher", the hero of Cyprus of the struggle with the British colonialists.

At this point in Maharasa is home to several dozen monks who are engaged in agriculture.