The Chapel of Saints Galakteon and Episteme

The tiny chapel at the hermitage of Saints Galakteon and Episteme.

There is a small spring behind the hermitage. The existence of water allowed the presence of a chapel, monastic cells, and a garden. The hermitage dates back to the early years of Sinai’s history.

7 comments to The Chapel of Saints Galakteon and Episteme

  • CG

    Lovely! Is it the open door reflected in the glass of ikon on the wall beyond the Holy Table? When illumined by candlelight and oil lamps alone it must look very different. Do any hermits live up there now, or do monastics from the main monastery ever go there on retreat or just to serve a feast-day liturgy?

    • Father Justin

      In the early afternoon, a lot of light comes through the door from the courtyard outside. One day I will try photographing it at night with the lamps and candles lit. No one lives there now, but Father Hesychius has the keys, so that he can go there for a few days, or even for one day, whenever his schedule allows, to experience the silence and peace that are there.

  • CG

    I like this; Father Hesychius evidently lives in accordance with his name, as we so often say in the troparia for saints.

  • John francis


  • LD

    Did you ever photograph it at night with the lamps and candles lit? Was this hermitage actually founded by Sts. Galakteon and Episteme? How old is the present chapel?

    • Father Justin

      I’ve only spent one night at SS Galakteon and Episteme, and I did not try to take photographs. The chapel is in honour of the saints. Architectural historians think it may date from the fifth century. There is a spring of water beneath a rock ledge a short distance from the chapel.

  • It is interesting that the iconostasis does not seem to suffer in such an extreme climate. Unlike in the monastery church these little chapels must be subject to the harsh climate changes. You’d expect the gold work to suffer.

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