Philothei was a really amazing woman. At age 14 she was married against her will to a nasty old rich man, who treated her badly. He died when she was 17, leaving her with wealth and power. Ignoring her parents' urging, she refused to remarry, and instead used her money to establish a monastery, and many other charitable establishments around the area. She was particularly known for sheltering slaves--especially women--from trafficking by the Ottoman Turks. In 1588, at age 66, she was severely beaten for harboring these women, and died the following February.
I wish we knew the origins of this monastery, or at least the age. I guess ultimately it doesn't really matter. It's a picturesque building in a pretty spot, dedicated to a seriously rad woman who used her influence to assist others.
|If you look closely, you can see an icon of Philothei hanging on the door.|