On Apostle Paul Steps Pilgrimage Cruise
Cruise on one of the most remarkable religious routes in Greece
One of the most remarkable religious routes in Greece is “The Path of Apostle Paul”. Paul spread the word of Christianity more than anybody else and for this reason he was named “Apostle of the Nations”. During his journeys to Greece, Paul was preaching the Holy Gospel and teaching people about Jesus’ mission. The route he followed is of such beauty that it can touch not only the believers but also everybody who loves history.
By visiting the places where the Apostle passed you will find an ideal combination of pilgrimage and sightseeing in some of the most enchanting places in Greece. Sail la Vie has designed a special cruise following the footsteps of Apostle Paul on a luxurious Motor Sailer or one of the awarded small ship cruisers.
- Day 1:Thessaloniki, Veria
- Day 2:Mount Athos, Kavala, Philippi
- Day 3:Samothrace
- Day 4:Lesvos
- Day 5:Samos
- Day 6:Tinos
- Day 7:Athens, Ancient Corinth
Places to Visit
Thessaloniki, Hagia Sophia • Veria, Apostle Paul’s Podium • Mount Athos (Agion Oros) • Kavala, Monument of Apostle Paul • Philippi, Apostle Paul Prison • Samothrace, Sanctuary of Great Gods • Lesvos, Monastery of Saint Raphael • Samos, Monastery of the Holy Cross • Tinos, Evangelistria Church • Tinos, Saint Pelagia Monastery • Athens, Acropolis Museum • Athens, Byzantine and Christian Museum • Corinth, Ancient Corinth
When they reached Thessalonica it was fall of 49. Apostles Paul and Silas found the city completely different from what they had seen so far. It was a free from Roman occupation city since 168 B.C. There was also a synagogue close to the port, as the Acts inform us. Apostles Paul went there for three Saturdays. As we are informed, he discussed with the attendants and interprets them abstracts from Holy Bible which mention that Jesus should have been crucified and resurrect from the dead. Some people believed and became Paul’s and Silas’ students. Many of the neophyte Greeks believed, as well as several women who stood out in the city’s society. We do not know exactly how many were the first Christians but we know for sure that a church was established in Thessalonica.
The Hagia Sophia (meaning Holy Wisdom in Greek) in Thessaloniki, is one of the oldest churches in that city still standing today and it is included in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. About 50 A.D., while on his second missionary journey to Greece, Paul the Apostle visited this place and reasoned with the Jews of the city’s chief synagogue on constructing Thessaloniki’s first Christian church. Some of Agia Sophia’s original mosaics have survived the turbulent history.
The spot in Veria where it is said that Paul stood and preached, the so called “Apostle Paul’s Podium” is now an imposing monument. Since 1995, a series of religious, cultural and sports events have been established under the name “Pavlia” which end every year with a scientific conference.
Mount Athos is also known as Agion Oros which means Holy Mountain and is the most famous complex of monasteries in Greece. Athos has 20 Eastern Orthodox monasteries. Every day many people arrive at Mount Athos to visit these unique monasteries. Because of this the number of daily visitors is restricted. Also visitors must be males, and either monks or workers.
When Apostle Paul dreamt of a tall impressive Macedonian man who stood in front of him and asked him to “come and pray in Macedonia” he decided to set sails for Neapolis. In winter of the year 49, Apostle Paul landed for the first time on the Greek mainland in Agios Nikolaos area closed to Neapoli (today’s Kavala). This monument, is dedicated to St. Paul, and is placed in the area where the ancient port from which he arrived in Kavala was. It is a beautiful mosaic with great details, located next to the church of St. Nikolas.
From Neapolis Paul followed the road Via Egnatia and reached Philippi. In Philippi, Paul and Silas were accused of provoking abnormalities in the city and for having unusual habits. The two men were caned and imprisoned but a massive earthquake spread panic in the city. The prison’s doors opened and freed the Apostels. Paul returned to Philippi three more times (on April of 57, in spring of 63 and winter of 64) and supported the city also financially.
Probably the biggest reason for people coming to Philippi is to experience and walk through the ruins of the city that had the claim of being the first Christian congregation in Europe.
Philippi is a hot destination for people coming to Greece on pilgrimage tours and cruises. In Philippi, Paul and Silas were accused of provoking abnormalities in the city and for having unusual habits. The two men were imprisoned but a massive earthquake opened the prison’s doors and freed the Apostels. Paul returned to Philippi three more times and supported the city also financially.
According to the island’s tradition, when Apostle Paul passed through Samothrace he landed in the Ancient City’s port, which nowadays is called Paliapoli (Old City). In memory of this event, a three-aisled Early Christian church was constructed at that place. For its construction locals used pieces from architectural parts of ancient buildings.
The Monastery of Agios Raphael was built in 1963 on the ruins of the preview monasteries. It is located near village Thermi, on the hill “Karies”. In the monastery the skulls of Saints Raphael are kept, Nicholaos and Irene, who were tortured at the hands of the Turks and their bones were found by believers, after visions. The Monastery of Saint Raphael has become a cultural center and a spiritual cell for thousand of pilgrims, asking for miraculous cures. Today this brilliant monastic complex consists of: the main church, the Cathedral of the Holy Monastery in honour of Saint Raphael, two wings of cells, 30 cells with auxiliary spaces, a large hall, two hostels and gallery exhibiting works of Greek painters.
The monastery of the Holy Cross is located in the east-central part of Samos island. First built in 1582, the monastery is one of the oldest religious constructions of the Island. A big three-aisled basilica with a round dome is the main church. Its north aisle is dedicated to the Well of Life, the middle aisle to the Holy Cross and the south aisle to Saint John the Baptist. In the church there is a superb iconostasis, a gorgeous pulpit and a beautiful bishop’s throne. On 14th of September the monastery’s feast is celebrated and welcomes every inhabitant of Samos.
Evangelistria Church is also known as Panagia Megalochari which means Virgin Mary with all graces. The church is located on a hill above the Chora of Tinos. Many visitors cover the distance to the church on their knees as a promise to Virgin Mary. The path is very rough so there is a carpet from the port to the entrance of the church for those who want to walk the path on knees. Pilgrims leave their offerings on that icon which actually represent their wishes, usually for good health.
Saint Pelagia Monastery
Saint Pelagia of Tinos, a Greek Nun saint, the one that has helped- through her visions- the discovery of the sacred icon of Panagia of Tinos. This icon is one of the most sacred, venerated icons of the Holy Mother, all over Greece and, maybe the most famous pilgrimage that is dedicated to Her Grace, each year on the feast of Her Dormition on August, 15th.
Paul went to Athens by boat and anchored in the harbor of Faliro between Kifissos river bed and the small church of Agios Georgios. From there started the road to Athens which Paul followed in order to reach the Areopagus where he spoke to the Athenians. His preaching on the death of Jesus on the cross and his resurrection impressed some epicurean and stoic philosophers who characterized him as “newsmonger”. Apostle Paul’s church was established in 1887 very close to the heart of Athens. Two years later, Queen Olga set the foundations for the construction of a new and larger church. The Acropolis Museum – The Byzantine and Christian Museum