Orthodox Tradition and the Environment


The ascetical ethos of the Orthodox Church reveals to man a vision of his relationship to creation which transcends the materialistic standards of the contemporary society, teaching a reasoned and responsible use of the world and opening up a path to a different mode of living. Once man acquires a sense of the sacredness of all creation, he honours it and uses all material things thoughtfully and creatively.

In Orthodox monasticism, the preservation of the principles of ecology is pursued not because of the usual love for nature but because of the deep consciousness and recognition of the sacredness of Creation. The monastic life, when it is authentic and spirit-bearing, stands in sharp contrast to the contemporary standards of unsustainable exploitation of natural resources and excessive consumption, thus becoming both a witness and example for spiritual renewal of contemporary man.

With its environmental consciousness and action, the Monastery of Chrysopigi demonstrates that this vision and goal can become a daily reality. Every day the sisterhood lives and works with a guiding principle of preservation of the sacredness of the creation. 

The traditional structures and buildings of the Monastery have been restored with deep respect for the historical, the architectural, and the cultural traditions of Crete, whereas the new monastic complex of the Metamorphosis at Kastro was built using the stone of the site’s excavation and following the principles of traditional monastic architecture. The buildings are bioclimatic and use renewable energy sources.

The sisterhood makes a great effort to preserve the biotope of the monastic area of St Kyriaki, while the land is cultivated following the principles of organic farming.

In addition to the organic farming, and in direct relation to it, the Monastery has adopted ecological waste management. This allows making use of the organic waste (composting) and alleviates the city’s waste management programme.

Furthermore, the sisterhood of Chrysipigi organises various environmental education activities for school and university students, camp leaders, and other groups of young people.


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