St. Mary Hozoviotissa (Celebrates 21 November)
The most shining jewel and protector of Amorgos. The monastery is dedicated to her grace and built on the steepest rock of Mount Profitis Ilias, 300 meters above the sea, south of Chora.
It was founded in the 9th century and was later extended in the 11th century by Alexios Komnenos. After the liberation from the Ottomans, in 1829, the monastery founded the first Greek school at its own expense. The building has only one external wall since the rock is the inner wall. In its sacristy, there are relics dating back from the 10th century.
As for how the icon of the Virgin Mary came to be on Amorgos, the most popular version, the one that we have been told, is that the icon was found on the island of Amorgos. Told by Abbot Fr. Spyridon that the monks who were expelled from the monastery of Hoziva in Palestine took the icon with them and chose to build a new monastery in this area. That’s where the name of the icon comes from.
According to tradition, the “divine” choice of the spot was made by the Virgin Mary herself, who is said to have taken the pouch with the tools of the master builder and deposited them on the rock, which until then had been called “Diabolotopos” (Devil's place), thus indicating the location where he wished to build the monastery. Today, in a showcase in the church, we can see the chisel (large iron nail) of the master builder that was wedged in the rock for centuries and that which fell from it in 1952.