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Panagia Chrysogialiotissa


Relations between Cyprus and Georgia and the Orthodox churches date back many centuries ago. This also shows written sources of the two peoples, referred to Georgians in Cyprus and Cypriots in Georgia. In the Middle Ages, Georgians living in Nicosia, Famagusta, Larnaca areas (as in Alaminos) and Paphos. Additionally, the Holy Land that is very close to Cyprus, had many monasteries and estates.

Relations between Cyprus and Georgia show the remains of the Georgian monastery in Gialia in Cyprus and the glebe of Kykkos Monastery in Vartzia in Georgia.

The current relations between Cyprus and Georgia remain close and loving, both among the churches, and among peoples. In 2000, the Patriarchate of Georgia founded delegation in Cyprus. Cypriot prelates and pilgrims often hosted in Georgia and the Georgian Cyprus.

It is worth noting that with the blessings of His Beatitude Patriarch and most holy of all Georgia Ilia II and the Archbishop of New Justinian and Mr. Cyprus Chrysostomos II and the Georgian Cypriot scientists with state authorities are working on the construction of the new monastery complex which erected near the ruins of the historic Georgian monastery of Gialias.

The Georgians have chosen to build their monastery in the village of Yalta (located in an area of Polis) because the village landscape - mountains and forests-like of their homeland.

To find the ruins of the monastery of Chrysogaliotissas starting from Polis follow the coastal road towards Pomos and Pyrgos. Then turn right in order to reach the village Gialia. After passing the village Gialia, cross the dirt road with pine forests and after a while you will see the Monastery (there are signs).

History of the Monastery
According to written sources and rich archaeological finds of the excavation, the monastery seems functioned continuously since the 10th century until the late 16th century. Built during the reign of David C (Georgia King-1001), the time and founded the monastery of the Iberians in Athos and was destroyed in 1570 by the Turks.

The monastery had close relationships with other monasteries both in Georgia and. Great benefactors of the monastery were the kings of Georgia. Specifically, the chronicler writes that the Georgian king David D Building (1089-1125), states that the king gave him many gifts and privileges to monasteries among different countries and Cyprus. Substantial assistance in the Georgian monastery of Yalta gave the Queen of Georgia Tamar (114-1213) who was patron of monasteries and churches within and outside the country.

The Monastery of Panagia Chrysogialiotisas was very rich. According to the book "Tsiknopoulos, The History of the Church of Paphos', the monastery had Gialias both income and Kykkos Monastery. Archaeologists unearthed findings are evidence of the wealth of the convent, as vessels of various potters Paphos and Lapithos crosses and coins. The archaeological findings are kept in the local museum Marion Arsinoe located in Polis. Additionally, the floor was covered with universal marble and walls adorned amazing murals.

Remarkably, the monastery for some time the Georgian St. Nikoloz Dvali (13th-14th c.), Who was martyred in Jerusalem in 1314.

Architecture of the church and chapels
The monastery building has many layers. The church of the monastery, according to the book "Tsiknopoulos, The History of the Church of Paphos was dedicated to the Mother of all Christians, the Virgin Mary. Built in the 10th century and was triconch, something not often found in Cyprus.

North of the Catholic built a small church (late 10th century-early 11th century) dedicated to the Holy and Great Martyr George. From this small church survived even part of a fresco dating from between the 11th and 12th centuries. Near the monastery there was a church dedicated to St. Nicholas, which was in the basement of a crypt. In the shrines of two churches of the monastery there were many pictures, which unfortunately survived not one.

Significant changes were made to the monastery in the 12th century. Specifically, the reign of Queen Tamar, a built-tank which receives water from the mountains through clay pipes-The western narthex and the tower-Pastoforio auxiliary building to the north of the sanctuary. Between the 13th and 14th century, the monastery was added, the wide gate to the south and stairs that lead to the western side of the narthex.

Picture of Mary Chrysogialiotissa
About three years ago, Father Zacharias Peratze and Father David Maglaperitze went to the Virgin of Kykkos to kneel and pray in front of the miraculous image to enlighten them the grace and show them what to do with the construction of the future monastery Gialias. They sought advice and dean of the HM Kykkos Agathonikou. Archimandrite Agathonikos asked to give two days to pray and that the Virgin Mary.

After two days of prayer was the answer, which was: to be painted the image of the Virgin Mary, patron of the monastery, and framed with the saints associated with the Monastery, Cyprus and Georgia. Then informed the Patriarch of Georgia Ilia II, who called experts and decided the icon Chrysogialiotissa look like in size and follows the iconographic type of the Virgin of the Monastery Portaetissa Iberians, Mount Athos. In Georgia, there are many images on this guy. Finally, chose the image of the Virgin of Ouskgouli (Ushguli) of 11th-12th century any painted Theodore, illustrator of Santa Claus, David D Builders. Because the image is of Chrysogialotissas decided to have more gold in color scale from the original, the image of Ouskgouli.

Takers of the icon is Chrysogialiotissa Bishop Savas Samtredias and Chonis  together with his spiritual children. Hagiographer is Amiran Gkogklitze - who is the painter of the Patriarchate of Georgia. The silver picture frame with representations of saints and images forms did the famous goldsmith-silversmith, Malchaz Papaskiri.

The image has abbreviations Georgian capital letters. In the left corner and writes MOTHER OF GOD right over the person of the Savior-Jesus Christ. At the top of the silver-frame center-no picture of the Trinity-as depicted by the Patriarch Ilia II right-of-Mary and the Apostle Paul, left, John the Baptist and the Apostle Peter.

At the bottom of the image in the center is written the prayer of the Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II of "Oh, Holy, Mother of Iberians, glow in Yalta, begged God pasin George." To the left of prayer depicts St. Nino Equal to the Apostles-and-St-Queen Tamar of Georgia-which rebuilt the monastery of Yalta and gave many gifts and estates. To the right of the Saint-Nana-the first Christian king of Georgia and St. Helena-the first Christian king of the Byzantine Empire. 

On the left side of the image-from top to bottom-represented: the Apostle Andrew, who preached Christianity both in Georgia and in Cyprus, John Chrysostom, St. Nicholas-great patron of our church-the Holy Great Martyr George and Saint David D Builder-great benefactor of the monastery. On the right side are shown: the Apostle Barnabas, St. Lazarus, St. Spyridon-whom she loves very in Georgia, Saint Mamas and St. Nikoloz Dvali.

Before the advent of the icon Chrysogialiotissa Cyprus, passed the first time in one holy patriarchal church of the Holy Trinity and after the catholic church for veneration.

The image of Our Lady pansepti Chrysogialiotissa came to Cyprus on September 6, 2012 with great accompaniment composed by Bishop Savva Samtredias and Chonis and the Metropolitan Achaltsiche and Tac-Klartzethi Theodore takers, nuns, singers and worshipers. At Larnaca airport greeted Georgian priests and faithful, and the Archimandrite of the Monastery of Kykkos, Agathonikos. Followed by small request. All who were at that time in the airport pansepti venerated image of the Virgin Mary and together they got the blessing of the Mother of Christ and a small image.  

Following a decision of the Archbishop of Cyprus, Mr. Chrysostomou B, the image of the Virgin in the Temple Chrysogialiotissa hosted the Apostle and Evangelist Mark, Strovolos, Nicosia until the erection of the monastery of Panagia Gialiotissas. He Beatitude went to venerate the image in this temple.

The image of Our Lady Chrysogialiotissa went to Kykkos Monastery on September 8, the day when the Orthodox Greeks celebrate the Birth of Mary. This is the only day of the Virgin of Kykkos descends shrine. Everyone felt that the miraculous image of the Virgin of Kykkos welcomed the image of the Virgin Chrysogialiotissa the entrance of her house. This was not preplanned. After prayer and benediction, the two images of the Virgin Mary stayed all night there, at the entrance of the church of the Virgin of Kykkos.

Sunday morning the icon went to the old monastery Chrysogialiotissa where the crowd greeted the faithful. As said Archimandrite Agathonikos in his speech at the Temple of the Apostle and Evangelist Mark: "The Virgin Chrysogialiotissa returned to Cyprus' and itself. The Metropolitans Theodore Savas and with the help of the priest Zechariah Peratze, David Abbot Paul Makglaperitze and perform the first operation in front of the image Chrysogialiotissa.

Traditions and Local Histories
There are many local traditions and stories associated with the Monastery Chrysogialiotissa. One of them says that in 1570 when the Turks came to the monastery tried to kill a monk. He to escape from the hands of the Turks jumped off a high cliff. Then the robe open like wings and the monk landed unscathed on the ground.

The residents of Agia Marina (Polis) reported that the Turks living in Gialia sell gold objects found in the ruins of the monastery.

Additionally, until the 20th century, the inhabitants of the surrounding villages went to the monastery and made procession. But one day as residents of neighboring villages went for the standard litany, Turkish residents Gialias cut them the way preventing them from going to the monastery.

The area around the monastery
As you head towards the monastery, on the right bank of the river Gialia will see remnants of an old mill that belonged to the monastery.

About 200 meters north-east of the church of the monastery is the two-storey church of St. Nicholas, in the basement - as mentioned above-is a vaulted crypt

Moving the mountain one kilometer away from the monastery in a small cave hermitage there. The hermit lived in the cave between 10th to 11th century, and copied the manuscript of the Psalms of David. Nowadays, the script is located at the Oriental Institute of St. Petersburg No. H-18).

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