Stolen Greek Monastery Manuscripts Reveal 16th Century Massacre

16th cent

Recovered manuscripts from the 16th century shed light on the turbulent history of the Holy Monastery of Panagia Ikosifoinissa in Paggaio, Greece. The documents, recently returned after centuries missing, confirm a long-held oral tradition of a brutal massacre by Ottoman conquerors.

"These priceless manuscripts reveal a great and terrible calamity that befell the monastery," declared Metropolitan Dorotheos of Drama during a press conference. The massacre, documented in one of the manuscripts, claimed the lives of all the monks residing there in 1507.

The manuscripts' return is a story of international cooperation. Stolen in 1917, they eventually surfaced in a New York auction house. The Ecumenical Patriarchate, with the help of the Archdiocese of America, secured their legal return in 2023.

A Chicago collector, upon discovering the manuscripts' dubious ownership, facilitated their return. Professor Emeritus George Papazoglou, a researcher of the monastery's history, meticulously examined the documents.

One manuscript, marked 'X 8', contained a shocking revelation – a list of the massacred monks. "We now have the names of all 202 victims," Metropolitan Dorotheos said, "including 24 monks, 3 deacons, 145 laymen, and 30 pilgrims."

The recovered manuscripts not only confirm a historical tragedy but also offer valuable insights into the event. The paper used, according to Professor Papazoglou, suggests the list was compiled by a contemporary witness.

The Metropolitan of Drama expressed his gratitude to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and vowed to continue efforts to recover remaining stolen artifacts belonging to the Holy Monastery of Panagia Ikosifoinissa.

(Source: Amna)

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