Agios Andreas Ι. Ν. ΑΓΙΟΥ ΑΝΔΡΕΑ (St. Andrew the Apostle) Archdiocese of Athens, Filotheis Street, Plaka
St. Filothei at Agios Andreas church.
The church of Agios Andreas within the courtyard of the Athens Archdiocese.
Within the courtyard of the modest mansion of the Episcopal Residence and Archdiocesan Headquarters of Athens, at Agias Filotheis street, is the church of Agios Andreas, St. Andrew the Apostle, a monument that is related to the history of the city and the activity of one of the most important Athenian personalities of the period of the Turkish occupation, Agia Filothei.
The church seems that was initially founded in the first Christian centuries. In around 1550 it was renovated and became the catholicon of the monastery that was founded here by Agia Filothei, who came from the aristocratic Benizelos family. After she became a widow at a very young age, she founded the monastery of Agios Andreas, which became known as the “Parthenon” because it was the refuge of young poor women, who trained in some art without having the obligation to become nuns.
Apart from the tidy cells, it also housed a nursing home, an orphanage and a hospital, and until 1821 the underground hermitage of the saint survived, with her loom, which is preserved under the floor of the present day church. In 1834, with the transfer of the capital to Athens, the area was converted into barracks and came under the jurisdiction of the state. In the end of the 19th c. the metropolitan of Athens Germanos Kalligas built here the archiepiscopal mansion and the present day church. In its initial form the monastery was Π-shaped and at its center was the basilica of Agios Andreas. The present day church is also a three-aisle basilica and at its interior it follows the Byzantine style of the four-columned church, that is its dome is supported by four columns. It is decorated with paintings that were restored in 1999 by Tassos Margaritov, while from the decoration of the older church survive at the Byzantine Museum of Athens the icons of the screen, works by Emmanuel Tzanes in 1664, as well as parts from the wall paintings. At the ground floor of the mansion the old well of the monastery has been revealed and maintained.
Today, the chapel serves as an oratory for the staff of the Archdiocese and for the students attending the Pastoral Training Foundation. The Divine Liturgy is celebrated every Sunday morning in English, at 9:30 am, and a daily Vespers service is held at 6:00 pm. The church celebrates on the 30th of November.
St. Andrew the Apostle, is called in the Orthodox tradition Prōtoklētos or the First-called. Hewas a Christian Apostle and the elder brother of Saint Peter. The name "Andrew" (Greek: manly, brave), like other Greek names, appears to have been common among the Jews, Christians, and other Hellenized people of Judea. He was born in the village of Bethsaida on the Sea of Galilee. Both he and his brother Peter were fishermen by trade, hence the tradition that Jesus called them to be his disciples by saying that he will make them "fishers of men". At the beginning of Jesus' public life, they were said to have lived in the same house at Capernaum. Andrew is referred to as being present on some important occasions as one of the disciples more closely attached to Jesus. Andrew told Jesus about the boy with the loaves and fishes, and when Philip wanted to tell Jesus about certain Greeks seeking Him, he told Andrew first. Andrew was present at the Last Supper. Andrew is said to have been martyred by crucifixion at the city of Patras in Greece.