Patmos is the most sacred of the Greek islands because when St. John the Divine was exiled there and living in a cave, he wrote the Book of Revelations. St. John was the beloved apostle of Jesus. He may have only spent a year or so exiled on Patmos, but his gospel was such an accurate prophecy of the fall of the Roman Empire that it's kept people talking for 2000 years.
The island was abandoned in the 7th Century. Much later, the Emperor in Constantinople gave the island to a saintly hermit named Christodoulos.
In the 11th Century, the Blessed Christodoulos formed a fortified monastery in honor of St John, more wealthy and influential than any other in Greece, with the exception of Mount Athos. Constaninople granted the island building funds, tax exemptions and the right to engage in sea trade.
The island was under the control of the monastery for hundreds of years and received special status even from the Turks. Patmos began to prosper and by 1720, monks and laymen divided the land between them.
Though nude sunbathing is prohibited by many signs, people do it anyway. No lightning has flashed from the sky so far.
This island is a mix of religious and secular. You may see a monk with a black beard and a cassock waiting for a taxi beside a bikini clad sunbather. See more photos of Patmos.
|Religious Observances and Festivals||