Cave of the Apocalypse

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The Cave of the Apocalypse is situated between the villages of Skala and Chora on the island of Patmos in Greece. It is in this cave that Christians believe St. John the Theologian saw Christ and visions of "fire and brimstone" that John dictated to his disciple, Prochoros, in what is known today as the Book of Revelation. It is said, that the Voice of God could be heard coming from the cleft of the rock that is still visible in the cave today. This rock is divided into three which Christians say symbolises the Holy Trinity. The cave is considered to be the first hermitage on the island because of the saint's presence. The view from this cave and the mysticism of the atmosphere is incredible.

Today, a pilgrim can see the place at which the Apocalypse was written, the place where St. John stayed, the massive rock that opened up in there and through which God dictated the Apocalypse to St. John, the point were the Evangelist lay his head to rest and a curve on the rock, which he would hold onto, in order to rise - the southern part of the cave has been turned into a church. This is a UNESCO World heritage site [1]


In this Holy cave, a little church was also built to honour the translation (metastasis) of the Evangelist, St. John (honoured every year September 26). Later, in the time of St. Christodoulos (1088), another little church was added to honour St. Anna, the mother of the Virgin Mary.

With the passing of time, the chain of hermits at the Cave, have contributed to the addition of cells and little churches around the Cave forming the current building structure in the region today.

Also, near the grounds, are buildings dedicated to the school of the Nation of Patmos, founded in 1713 by the deacon Makarios (Kalogeras). There are also small churches dedicated to St. John, St. Anna, St. Artemios and St. Nicholas.

The Brevium

The Brevium, is a documentary book called The Brevium of the Holy Monastery of Saint John the Theologian and contains written records from priests and hermits about the life of the monastery; beginning from 1552 and continuing to this present day.

In this book, the first written record of the death of a hermit was recorded by a Father Geramios in 1656 [2] about "Father Serafim from Kos died in the Apocalypse about 1634.".

Other important historical facts are recorded in this book including:

  • The Archbishop of Samos, Joseph Georgirinis Milius lived in the Holy cave in 1671.
    • the Archbishop wrote a description of the island of Patmos in which he mentions the hermitages and local worship of the area including a story about a fig tree growing in the area of the monastery showing hte letters of the word "Apocalypse".
  • November 8, 1672 the Reverand Father Ioakim Matilas died in "Theoskepasti" [3].
  • Makarios Kalogeras, the founder of the Patmiada lived and died in the Cave in 1737.
  • the Metropolitan Daniel of Bizyes lived in the Cave for a while (d. August 13, 1813).
  • the hermit Theokitsos from Axario of Asia Minor, used the Cave as a place for peace and finally dided in the Cave in March 29, 1917.
  • the monk Ignatius Gazos the Fryos, lived for 45 years in the hermitage of Apollo and died December 11, 1918.
  • the monk Isidoros Stratos died in the cave on May 25, 1943.
  • Finally, the monk Amphilochios (Makris), director of the Apocalypse and the founder of the Holy Monastery of the Evangelismos, renovated the church of St. Anna and redecorated the walls with murals in 1925.

The Apocalypse cave is no longer used as a hermitage due to the location being recognised as an international shrine for Christian pilgrims.


  1. UNESCO, World Heritage Site #942, webpage: WHC-UNESCO-942
  2. Brevium, March 23, 1578
  3. Another reference for the Cave, in Greek.