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St. Minas and Pantanassa

 It is the small church of St. Minas and Pantanassa and it is situated southwest of the church of St. Aikaterini of Sinai. It is mentioned in the church catalogues of Chandakas of the Venetian period. Only a characteristic gothic window of the period before 1735, of the north aisle, survives today. During the Turkish siege, the church fell into disuse until 1735, when, after the efforts of the bishop Gerassimo Letitzi, to whose family house also belonged the old deserted church, the inauguration of the renovated metropolitan church took place. It became the centre of the orthodox Christians of the Turkish occupied city. The temple had two aisles roofed with two arches, the north aisle was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and the south one to St. Minas. Today''s form of the monument is not much different from the Turkish one. The icon - screen, especially the one of the north aisle, is a magnificent sample of ecclesiastical woodcarving (it is gold plated and it is divided by little columns, between them there were the icons). A lot of the churches'' relics are found today in the church of St. Aikaterini, most of them, though, have been destroyed. A big number of the icons that still survive today is work of Cretan icon painters of the 18th century of great artistic value. Some significant ones of the north aisle is the icon of Christ''s Birth (of Georgios Kydoniaios), the icon of Panayia Galaktotrofousa (of Georgios Kastrofylakas), of the Ypapanti of the same artist, of St. Minas (of an unknown artist) and other icons equally important. Some significant icons of the south aisle is the one of St. Titos with 12 representations from the life of the ten saints martyrs of Crete, the icon of St. Minas with twelve representations of the saint''s martyrdom and miracles, the icon of Adam''s Creation and others. From the most valuable works of the church are: Vatos, the Divine Liturgy, "Noli me tangere", The Adoration of the Magi, The Last Supper and the First Ecumenical Synod, now all these are found in the Church of St. Aikaterini. This church of St. Minas is connected with one of the most atrocious moments of the local history. In June 1821 Turks slaughtered the metropolitan bishop, Gerasimo Pardali, Bishops, Reverend Fathers, Clerics and civilians that were inside the church and in the precinct. It is also worth noting here the miracle of 1826 which is connected with St. Minas and his church. At Easter of that year and while Christians were inside the church, taking part in the Mass, Turks decided to attack and slaughter them. At the moment, though when they were ready for this atrocious deed, an army officer on his horse appeared in front of them and by showing his sword against them, he prevented them and chased them away from the temple. The Turks thought that the officer was their second in command Ayian Aga that is why they left in panic. From the other hand, the Christians believed that it was a miracle and that the rider was St. Minas himself who protected the people and the city. The church was destroyed after the big earthquake of 1856 and a year later it is renovated. During these years, in the middle of 19th century a bell is being put for the first time in the cathedral.


St. Minas and Pantanassa.


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