Pilgrimage to Saint Paisios – Thessaloniki
Day 1 – Thessaloniki
Arrival at Macedonia airport where a representative of our company will be waiting for you to guide you to the bus heading to your hotel in the center of Thessaloniki. We will provide you with all the information you will need for your stay as well as the three-day program and the pilgrimage.
You will check-in at the hotel and get settled. The rest of the day will be free to visit the beautiful city of Thessaloniki.
Day 2 – Thessaloniki – Souroti Thessaloniki – Pilgrimage to Agios Paisios
After breakfast at the hotel, we will depart for Souroti, Thessaloniki, where Agios Paisios is buried. The holy pilgrimage will last about an hour. Then we will start for the monastery of Saint Anastasia Farkakolytria which is about 15 minutes away. You will be able to visit the holy monastery for about an hour, and then we will return to the hotel in Thessaloniki. The rest of the day will be free for shopping, coffee, or whatever else you want.
Holy Monastery of Saint John the Theologian – Saint Anastasia Farkakolytria:
Saint Arsenios the Cappadocian and Saint John the Theologian are honored in the Holy Monastery. In the catholicon of the monastery are both the tomb of Saint Paisios and the remains of Saint Arsenios of Cappadocia.
Monastery of Saint John the Theologian
In Souroti Thessaloniki there is a monastery dedicated to Saint John the Theologian. Just off the main road connecting Thessaloniki with Polygyros, the capital of Halkidiki, Souroti is about 28 kilometers away. Saint Arsenios the Cappadocian and Saint John the Theologian are honored in the Holy Monastery. In the Monastery are the Relics of Saint Arsenios of Cappadocia as well as the tomb of Saint Paisios. On July 12, 1994, Saint Paisios fell asleep and was buried next to the church of Saint Arsenios. Since then, thousands of believers have attended the vigils held in the Holy Sanctuary on July 11 and 12, the anniversary of the Elder’s sleep.
Monastery of Saint Anastasia Farmakolytria
During the Patriarchate of Great Photios, the Holy Royal Patriarchal and Crusader Monastery of Saint Anastasia Farmokolytria, Halkidiki was founded in 888 by Augustus Theophanos. Hieromonk Theonas, who accompanied him, had re-founded this Holy Monastery in the year 1552 and had assumed the role of its abbot before being elevated to the position of Archbishop of Thessaloniki. There he had a holy end, and the Church had placed him above the Saints. In the Holy Monastery are kept the Holy Chariot of Saint Anastasia, the full-length Holy Relic of Saint Theonos, the Abbot of the Monastery and Metropolitan of Thessaloniki, the Holy Wood, a gift of Augustus Theophanes and many other Holy Relics.
The Holy Monastery of Vlatadon
One of the most significant Byzantine structures in Thessaloniki and the only operating Byzantine monastery is the Holy Patriarchal and Crusader Monastery of Vlatades. It was constructed by the brothers Dorotheos and Markos Vlattis, followers of Archbishop of Thessaloniki Agios Grigorios Palamas, in the location where, according to tradition, he preached the inspired word of the Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians. Its catholicon was devoted to the Savior’s Transfiguration.
Holy Church of the Apostle Paul.
The majestic church was built in honor of the Apostle of the Nations in the Agios Pavlos neighborhood, northeast of Thessalonica. This neighborhood is significant because it was where Paul left Thessalonica in 50 AD. Tradition holds that they arrived in Thessalonica at the close of AD 49. A city unlike any they had previously encountered was what Αpostle Paul and Silas discovered. Beginning in 168 BC, the Romans governed the Free city. According to the Acts, there was a synagogue in the city, close to the port. Additionally, for three Saturdays in a row, Pavlos visits there. He interprets passages from the Holy Bible that state that Christ had to be crucified and raised from the dead, and we also discover that we are speaking to the people in attendance. Paul and Silas’ disciples made some of them believers. Many Greeks who had converted held the opinion that women should not be allowed to associate with those who stood out in the city’s society. Although the size of the first Christians is unknown, it is known that a Church was established.
Day 3 – Thessaloniki
After breakfast at the hotel, the city tour will begin. The church of Saint Dimitrios will be our first stop. Then, the Arch of Galerius (Kamara), the Rotunda and the White Tower, which serve as starting points for tours of the Upper City and Heptapyrgio on the municipal tourist bus, for those who choose. We will arrive at Aristotelous Square, where we will have time to walk, buy coffee and sweets. The rest of the day is free.
4th Day – Departure
After breakfast at the hotel, check-out will take place at 11 am and then we will visit Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius of Thessaloniki.
Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius of Thessaloniki
On June 17, 1981, the revered Metropolitan of Thessaloniki Panteleimon II Chrysofakis laid the foundation stone for the Hieroglyphic Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius of Thessaloniki on a plot of land near the intersection of Megalo Alexander and Stratopoulos streets. The same Metropolitan celebrated the Epiphany on March 26, 1983, and the Inauguration on May 12, 1985, both in the presence of Mr. Christos Sargetakis, the then-President of the Hellenic Republic, who also announced the start of the Theological Conference honoring Saints Cyril and Methodius. Since then, the temple has played an active role in the ecclesiastical, scientific, and cultural events of the city and beyond through the performance of sacred services, the organization of international scientific conferences and seminars, or participation in those events, and the founding of a church choir.
Next, you will be transferred to Macedonia airport to return to your place of residence.
Special guidelines for attire when visiting holy monasteries:
Women wearing pants, short skirts, sleeveless and backless dresses are not allowed to enter the monastery. Women should wear skirts that are wide and long, below the knee. The monastery does not provide skirts, headscarves, or anything else. Men wearing Bermuda shorts, short pants and sleeveless shirts are also not allowed to enter. The same applies to children.
- Acccommodation at a 4 or 5-star hotel
- Private transfers
- International or national flights
- Meals or Beverages
- Gratuities (optional)
- Personal expenses
- Accommodation tax, direct payment to the hotel.