Known to many as “House of the Virgin Mary”, according to the legend the monastery in the village of Prousos in Evritania was built on the spot which the Virgin Mary Theotokos (Mother of God) had chosen in some miraculous way.
The historical monastery complex, dates back to 829 AD, is 35 km from Karpenissi. On the path that leads to the Monastery, there are “the footsteps of the Virgin Mary” seven shapes of different colours, which according to tradition are the traces that the Virgin Mary left on the vertical rock that exists at this point, on her way to Prouso.
According to traditional beliefs, the sacred icon of the Virgin Mary, a creation of Luke the Evangelist, fled in 829 AD, during the period of war on icons, in Prousa, Asia Minor in order to escape the burning of the Byzantine icons ordered by the Emperor Theophilos. The icon was transferred to Greece by a young man named Dionysius but for some unknown reason it had gone missing when the young man arrived in Thrace.
From Thrace the icon appeared in Evritania, sensing her presence in a shepherd with a bright pillar that from earth reached to the sky on the 23rd of August. This is the date that the memory of the icon in the monastery where it was transferred is celebrated, as it was considered to be the place chosen by the Blessed Virgin to “reside”.
According to the history of the Holy Monastery, many buildings were destroyed during the Ottoman domination, although in recent history, a black page is represented as the German invasion of the Monastery on the 16th of August in 1944 and the complete destruction of the buildings. According to testimony, an officer also wanted to burn the church down, something he did not manage to do in spite of his many attempts. The “invisible hand” of the Virgin Mary prevented him, as a strong force threw him to the floor whilst he was giving orders.
The icon of the Virgin Mary of Prousiotissa is considered miraculous, and for this reason attracts a number of faithful pilgrims from Greece and abroad. The silver cover of the icon was donated by G. Karaiskakis, to be cured of disease from which he was suffering from at the time he was being looked after in the monastery in the midst of the Revolution. Even today, there is a cell in the monastery where the hero of 1821 lived. The monastery suffered many disasters, with the most recent being the German invasion of 1944.
The Holy Monastery consists of the Catholic Church, where restoration work has been undertaken and a cell wing added. The Catholic Church is a cruciform temple with a dome and in the western part there is a crypt that functions as a chapel. The church dates back to 1754, whilst on the outside of the crypt, wall paintings have been rescued from the 13th century.
Opposite the monastery is the chapel of Agion Panton, which was also built in 1754 and within close proximity, you can visit the building of the Literature School that was built In 1820 by the Bishop of Agrafa, Dositheos.
Today in the Monastery there are two three-storey guest houses for hosting pilgrims, an ecclesiastical museum of findings, artifacts and objects and a museum of the Greek Letters of Roumeli.