Patmos Cave of the Apocalypse, the most spiritual & miraculous cave in the world

Patmos Cave

About halfway up to the Monastery of Agios Ioannis on Patmos is the Cave of the Apocalypse. This sacred grotto is believed to mark the spot where Agios Ioannis received his visions from Christ that he recorded in the Book of Revelation.

Patmos Cave of the Apocalypse
Patmos Cave of the Apocalypse

Agios Ioannis the Theologian, commonly identified with the Apostle Ioannis, was exiled on Patmos around 95 AD and received revelations from God by means of a voice from a cleft in the rock.

The Saint made the cave his home during his exile by the Roman Emperor Domitian and as a result, the cave became the centre of his revelation, which he dictated to his disciple Prohorus and this led to the creation of the Book of the Apocalypse, or Revelation, the last book of the Bible.

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Some scholars think that Ioannis was from Ephesus, a short boat ride from Patmos and received the first of the letters addressed to the Seven Churches of Revelation.

A sanctuary and the Monastery of the Apocalypse were later built around the cave that tradition identified as the site of Ioannis’ visions.

mosaic portraying the visions of Ioannis
mosaic portraying the visions of Ioannis

The cave entrance is marked with a mosaic portraying the visions of Ioannis, and inside the small grotto, you can see the nightly resting place of Ioannis’ head, fenced off and outlined in beaten silver. Seven silver lamps have been hung in the cave, of which the largest is above the place where the Saint slept using a rock as a pillow that still exists in the cave. A monk and/or spiritual leader sits on the rock and tells the story of the Apocalypse and how the book was written. The cave has a few niches in the stone from where John rested his head and another from his hand in the shallow cave. Also, a triple fissure can be seen from where Saint John heard the voice of God which represented the Holy Trinity.

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The Cave, which just received restorations and was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO,  has attracted thousands of visitors to Patmos and is a leading destination for religious pilgrims.

To be precise, it’s located halfway between the Port of Patmos in Skala and Patmos Town. The place is also known as the Holy Grotto and is a fine example of a traditional pilgrimage centre.

In the Bible, John of Patmos has written: “I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. On the Lord’s Day, I was in the Spirit, and I heard a loud voice like a trumpet behind me…” (Revelation 1:9-10).

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.

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