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Greek Overture

I’m in Patmos. I’m sitting in my oratory. My oratory, the name I’ve given to the small chapel a few minutes from my house. Maria, my cook, cleans and maintains the chapel. She keeps the key, and so I have the key, I have access. The foundation is old, it must date to late antiquity….

The Phantom Eucharist

Some time ago, old houses surrounded the chapel in Patmos, the one that I consider my oratory. An old man inhabited one of these homes. One night, the old man was awoken by chants coming from the chapel. The hour was much too late for the Liturgy. The old man dressed quickly, crossed the street,…

Love at war in Kythera

In October 1940, Italy attacked Greece and was repelled. Soon the Germans came to their support. Many British soldiers who were fighting alongside the Greeks were chased by the invaders, forced to take refuse on the island of Kythera. The Germans then bombed the island’s ports. The British soldiers were then evacuated to Crete before…

Family Portrait, XIV

Prince William of Denmark was chosen to become King of Greece in 1863, taking the name George I. Upon assuming the throne, he began his search for a wife. Needing support for his small and nascent kingdom, he met with the most powerful rulers in the world, finally finding his pearl in Russia, in the…


During the Middle Ages, the Crusaders, while on their way to liberate Jerusalem, repeatedly stopped and conquered small parts of the Byzantine Empire, establishing principalities and naming rulers. Consequently, many French, Spanish, and Italian colonies were to be found scattered throughout Greece, the legacy of which is seen today through the number of Catholics in certain areas. They built fortified…

Zoe Porphyrogenita

My favorite empress is Zoe Porphyrogenita, from the Greek meaning “born into the purple,” signifying the child was born to the reigning emperor, for the prince or princess would see the purplish porphyry columns within the ornate palace. She was the daughter of Emperor Constantine IX, the perfect embodiment of frivolity and indifference during his long reign….

History’s Greatest Natural Disaster

Cretan artifacts are unique, unlike those of any other civilization. How had such a civilization vanished? What had become of the Minoans of Crete? It was a mystery.               In 1965, I married my wife Marina. To celebrate, we took a cruise that stopped at the island of Santorini….

Peloponnesus, 2014

The European winter: cold, rainy, and foggy. During February, the most difficult month of this season, the Peloponnesus proved to be full of sunlight, wildflowers, budding almond trees, and surrounded by a sea of deep blue. It is the most inviting and charming time to visit the marvels that dot the Peloponnesus; in 2014, I brought…

The Venieri Nun

Kythira, it was my friend Fivos who helped me discover it. As well as Kiria Eleni Harou, who recounted its many stories. Some of them were well known, others were buried deep in the collective memory of the island, but the most enchanting were the histories of Hora, the capital of the island, where she had been a schoolteacher….

Aghia Fonissa

The island of Cythera: I discovered this magical place thanks to one of its great admirers, my friend Fivos. He showed me her treasures, both known and unknown, and in particular, the splendid and terrifying ruins of Palaiochora. – – – – Fivos had a surprise for me. A peak upon which stands a medieval…