The chapel of Saint Minas and the Virgin Mary Pandanassa is mentioned in the inventories of Chandax churches in the Venetian times. Having fallen into disuse for many years, in 1735 it was renovated to become the cathedral, thenceforth serving as the main centre for the Orthodox Christian faithful in Ottoman Chandax (current Heraklion city).
This church of Saint 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 Saint Minas 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 Saint Minas himself who protected the people and the city.
One year after the destruction wrought by the major earthquake in 1856, the church was rebuilt yet again, a bell being added for the first time.
The church celebrates on the Saint Minas feast day, November 11th, and on Panagia Pantanassa day, February 2nd.
What is near me?