We don’t know the exact year of the foundation of the St. John’s Monastery, due to lack of historical evidence. The first historical documents that were found, were written in the 18 century but they don’t prove that the monastery was built in that time. On the other hand, the possible year of its foundation might be in 1615, when the monastery had close bonds to the one of St. Trinity, even though all necessary documents don’t exist.
The Prior Serafim wrote the first historical document, in 1734. Furthermore Konstadis Liosis, one of the grater warriors in 1821, mentioned it in one of the Revolution’s historical documents that was written in 1841, that he had served in the Monastery of St. John, fifty years ago, which means that he had been there in 1791 when he was age fifteen. In addition to the above there is a commercial document of the Monastery, confirmed later on by Turkish documents, which was written in 1811 for the transaction of some of the Monastery’s land to the Priest Joseph the Monk for better use.
Another source comes from the personal experiences of Frank Poukevil from France, who was general consul of France in Giannena, which was under the Pasha’s Ali jurisdiction. Being fond of the Greeks and because of his position it was possible for him to explore and travel different places in Greek land making personal documents in which are mentioned places such as the St. Meletios’ Church, the Kifissos river, Dragoumano village, Kamatero city and other places to his tour from Athens to Xassia. The exact extract of his document says “ the Dragoumano and the Koritsa villages along with the St. John’s Monastery are the main places that draw everyone’s attention while someone travels towards Kastia (Xassia). Last but not least the well-known historical analyst D.Kabouroglou who did research on the history of Athens, wrote in 1889 about the Holy Monasteries of Athens mentioning the St. John’s the Theologist Monastery placed in Ano Liosia. The rest history of the Monastery is laid in the latest years, which we’ll go through it in the passages below.
THE ROLE OF THE ST. JOHN’S MONASTERY DURING THE PERIOD OF TURKISH TYRANNY
The Holy Monasteries, during the slavery period had the most important role maintaining the National spirit, that means encouraging the enslaved Nation, preserving the Native language, the National history and civilization. The St. John’s Monastery had the same vital role all those years maintaining the faith to Our Lord Jesus Christ and giving battles for the freedom of our enslaved country. The St. John’s Monastery belonged to the category of “ parish or local ” so it was obliged to pay annual taxes to have ensured its existence.
The St. John’s Monastery was built in Ano Liossia and in the period of Turkish tyrrany it was in the center of all activity, because Ano Liosia was really close to Xassia, which was the most privileged village in Parnitha that period. The Turkish documents are referred to Ano Liosia as “ Dina Losha ”, while in 1833 Loudovic Ros, who was one of the professors of Archaeology in the University of Athens, made a reference to Liosia as “ Liosia Hut, which belongs to the rich village of Xassia ”.
According to all the above, we assume that the St. John’s Monastery had great wealth of animals and land which made possible for it to help in every way the enslaved nation, to maintain its high morals and help them when the time was right to rebel. For that matter we also based on the fact that after the outbreak of revolution, the St. John’s Monastery was the Greek command post and helped a lot to achieve great battles and the freedom of Greek Lands. Above all St. John’s Monastery gave valuable help to the efforts of enslaved Greek people so as great support to any losses in battle. That great battle of Liberation ended up victorious with God’s help, who defends the helpless, and along with the Holy Men reinforced every attempt for freedom.
Later to the above period especially in 1841 according to an authority’s document the St.John’s the Theologist Monastery stopped its activities because the Holy Monk Simeon set in at first in Xassia till 1838 whereas later on in 1839 he kept on his ascetic life to the Monastery of Pendelis. It should be mentioned that the Monastery’s activity as a school for learning the Greek language thing that is verified by old testimonies. Konstadis Liosis was one of the many students to the Monastery since 1791, as mentioned above. Once more the close relationship between Christianity and Greek Spirit, Faith and Education, Church and Country is proved.