The monastery of Panagia Karydiani is an unknown, but historic monastery located at position Karydi, 6km west of the village Mythi, on the southern slopes of Lassithi Mountains. The monastery is situated in an elevated area, at an altitude of 750m, with incredible views to sea and mountain. It is a dependency of the monastery of Panagia Faneromeni at Gournia.
Panagia Karydiani is not currently inhabited by monks, but it is operated by the parish of Mythi. The church was formerly dedicated to the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, but now it dedicated to the Life Giving Spring (Zoodochos Pigi). It celebrates, however, at all feasts related to Virgin Mary, such as the Dormition (15 August), the Nativity (8 September) and the Presentation of Christ at the Temple (2 February).
The church is stone built and the old frescoes haven’t survived. The temple is surrounded by old monk cells and the other buildings of the monastery complex.
According to reports, some years ago, on February 2, the icon of the Virgin Mary started weeping, which miracle is considered as a precursor to disaster. Lastly, from here started his monasterial life the later Patriarch of Alexandria, Meletios Metaxakis.
- 14-16th century: Founding of the monastery in Karydi, far away from the shores (and the pirates raids).
- 1839: Renovation of the monastery, as is proved by an inscription on the temple.
- 1888: The young monk Emmanuel Metaxakis arrives in Panagia Karydiani and comes into contact with the monk Meletios Tsichlakis.
- 1889: Emmanuel leaves to Jerusalem, where in 1926 he becomes the Patriarch of Alexandria, named Meletios, in honor of his first teacher Meletios Tsichlakis.
- 1903: The Monastery becomes a dependency of the Monastery Faneromeni
- 1904: The monastery is renovated.
- 1928: Meletios Tsichlakis dies and the monastery gets deserted.
- 1980: Vandals steal several old icons and the iconostasis.