The monument itself depicts a soldier and bears the following inscription: "Honor glory to the Peristians who fell for their country." A similar monument was set up outside Aghioi Apostoli in 1985; it bears the inscription: "In memory of those Peristians who fought in the Holy war (1821) and military leader Kostas Kefaliakos, who fell in the battle at Mesologgi." This monument was funded by K.G. Kefaliakos and N.B. Kefaliakos.
List of Peristian War Heroes, Survivors and Victims:
1826 ''Εξωδος Μεσολογγίου'' ΝΕΚΡΟΙ: Κώστας Κεφαλιακός ( Οπλαρχηγός) 1897 Victims: Anthony Vas. Kaganis, George C. Valaoras, John G. Chugranis
1912-3 and 1918 Victims: Geroge Th. Zarkadoulas (Aetorachi 1912), Anthony A. Thanassoulis (Aetorachi 1912), G.N. Bakalis (Serbia 1918) Survivors: N. Chatzinikolaou (wounded at Kilkis), Pericles Kommatas, Dimitri Sp. Patilis, I. Dim. Valaoras, Athansios I. Valaoras
1921-1922 Victims: N.B. Bekios (1921), Andreas Ant. Maniatis (1921), Athanasios N. Manolis (1923), Constantinos Ath. Maniatis (First Lieutenant), Anthony I. Patilis (Sergeant). Survivors: George M. Fidias (Second Lieutenant), Pandelis G. Papadimitriou (Sergeant), Athanasios G. Maniatis (Sergeant), Epaminondas G. Chatzis (Sereant), Dimitri K. Kaganis, G. Maniatis, G. S. Zarkadoulas, Vasilios Giannopoulos, Athanasios M. Dinis, Athanasios N. Kommatas, Eleftherios N. Kaganis, Ioannis N. Papakostoulas, Christos M. Fidis (wounded), K. G. Kommatas (taken prisoner), G. N. Manolis.
1940-1 Victims: Costas G. Chatzinikolaou, Alexis G. Xatzinikolaou, Vasilis T. Mavrikis. Survivors: George G. Zarkadoulas (wounded), Nikolaos G. Maniatis, Dimitris S. Zarkadoulas, George I. Patilis, Geroge D. Kefaliakos, Christos N. Manolis, Michael N. Maniatis, Ioannis G. Kaganis, Michael Anagnostos, Dimitris I. Kaganis, K. N. Chatzinikolaou (wounded), Athansios Kalimanis (wounded), Antonios D. Kefaliokos (corporal).
ABOUT GREEK FLAG
WITH RESPECT I SALUTE YOU. "Αυτό είναι το ιερό πανί το γαλανό και τ΄άσπρο, κομμάτι από ανοιξιάτικο και ξάστερο ουρανό. Το πήρε κάποια μάγισσα και το΄κανε χλαμύδα, να ζει σ΄αυτό να πάλλεται ολόκληρη η πατρίδα"
OCTOBER 28,1940. The Day Greece said "NO" To Mussolini, The day Greece said "NO" to Hitler: "NO ONE SHALL ENTER OUR LAND TO SLAUGHTER ANY OTHER" How many Nations purposely stood up to Nazi Germany with absolutely nothing to gain but just their integrity and so much to lose? I know of none, except of Greece. I know of a few Nations that were conquered by one telephone call by Hitler himself...
TO ALL MY DEAD ANCESTORS AND FIGHTERS OF FREEDOM, ONCE MORE, I SALUTE YOU.-
" Μη λησμονάς πως ΄Ελληνα σε έχει γεννήσει η μοίρα κι εντός σου λάμπει αθάνατη του γένους η ψηχή"
The number of the lines is based on the number of the syllables in the Greek phrase: Eleutheria H Thanatos (Freedom or Death). Ε-λευ-θε-ρί-α _ ή _ Θά-να-τος Freedom or Death was the motto during the years of the Hellenic Revolution against the Ottoman Empire in the 19nth century [There are claims that the number of lines reflects the number of letters in the greek word for Freedom which equals 9]. This word stirred theheart of the oppressed Greeks, it created intense emotions and inspired them to fight and gain their freedom after 400 years of slavery. The line pattern was chosen because of their similarity with the wavy sea that surounds the shores of Greece.The interchange of blue and white colors makes the Hellenic Flag on a windy day to look like the Aegean Pelagos. Only the quaint islands are missing! The Greek Square Cross that rests on the upper left-side ofthe flag and occupies one fourth of the total area demonstrates the respect and the devotion the Greek people have for the Greek Orthodox Church and signifies the important role of Christianity in the formation of the modern Hellenic Nation. During the dark years of the Ottoman rule, the Greek Orthodox Church helped the enslaved Greeks to retain their cultural characteristics: the Greek language, the Byzantine religion and generally the Greek ethnic identity, by the institution of the Crypha Scholia (hidden schools). The Crypha Scholia were a web of schools that operated secretly throughout Greece and were committed in transmitting to the Greeks the wonders of theirancestors and the rest oftheir cultural heritage. Today, Christianity is still the dominant religion among Greeks. Therefore the existence of the Cross is justified. Blue and White! These two colors symbolize the blue of the Greek Sea and the Whiteness of the restless Greeks waves! According to the mythic legends, the Goddess of Beauty, Aphrodite emerged from these waves. In addition, it reflects the blue of the Greek Sky and the White of the few clouds that travel in it. There are some who suggest that the blue and white was symbolizes the similar color of the clothing (vrakes) of the Greek sailors during the Greek War of Independence.
Did you know? The largest flag in the world is located in the city of Didimoticho ( Norhteastern Greece in Thraki near the border line of Turkey). The flag is 17.46 meters tall and 27.52 meters wide. 480.40 square meters. In feet it is approximately 1500 square feet. The NATIONAL ANTHEM - The HYMN TO FREEDOM
The Hymn to Freedom was written by Dionysios Solomos in 1823, and consists of 158 stanzas. The music was composed by Mantzaros in 1828 and in 1865 it officially became the national anthem of Greece.
Σε γνωρίζω από την κόψη
Se gnoriso apo tin kopsi.
We knew thee of old,
του σπαθιού την τρομερή
Tou spathiou tin tromeri,
Oh, divinely restored,
σε γνωρίζω από την όψη
Se gnoriso apo tin opsi
By the lights of thine eyes
που με βία μετρά την γή.
Pou me via metra tin yi.
And the light of thy Sword
Απ΄ τα κόκαλα βγαλμένη
Ap' ta kokala vialmeni
From the graves of our slain
των Ελλήνων τα Ιερά
ton Ellinon ta iera,
Shall thy valour prevail
και σαν πρώτα ανδρειωμένοι,
Ke san prota andriomeni,
As we greet thee again-
Χαίρε, ω Χαίρε, Ελευτεριά!
Haire, o Haire, Eleftheria!
Hail, Liberty! Hail!
Original Greek Words (repeat previous two lines three times (repeat previous two lines three times) We knew thee of old, Oh, divinely restored, By the lights of thine eyes And the light of thy Sword From the graves of our slain Shall thy valour prevail As we greet thee again- Hail, Liberty! Hail! (repeat previous two lines three times) Lyrics: --Dionysios Solomos, 1824 Music: Nikolaos Mantzaros, 1828 Adopted: 1864
The oldest church of Perista was build upon a small piece of land that, since its construction, altered so much that the foundation on the west side of the building needed to be strengthened. The roof was covered up until 1953 with large stone tiles, after which it was replaced with French tiles. Also in 1953, all of the walls were rebuilt and strengthened from the foundation up, with the exception of the eastern face of the building, which was not touched because that is where the inner sanctuary of the church is located. ear 1748 The exact date of the church's construction is unknown, but estimates put it at a few hundred years old.
The hand -made wooden Templo of the old church St. Athanasios was created in the year 1748
We do know that the wooden icon stand was carved in 1748, and a recipe-book for practical magic spells and folk medicine remedies was found in the church's library, dated somewhere in the sixteenth century. There are remains of an older church - possibly also dedicated to St. Athanasios - located under the southern face of the building. ???? Peristians at the time could afford to build a second church (now known as the "old" St. Athanasios"), because of the profitable silkworm trade that villagers were involved in at the time. They set it a little farther to the north of the original church, but had it face the same direction. The ceiling and roof of the second church were renovated in 1960.
By far, one of the most beautiful pieces of artwork in the church is the carved wooden icon stand. It features themes such as branches, leaves, vines and grapes, birds, snakes holding branches in their mouths, heads of winged angels, and animals with mythological forms.
The new church was built out of white stones on the northern side of the village. Builders from Epeiros constructed it; construction began in 1904 but was not completed until 1926. The outside walls were completed in 1906, but it had no roof until twenty years later. The outside walls were whitewashed in 1968 in order to weatherproof the structure. A plaque near the main (western) entrance reads: "Funded by the St. Athanasios Association of New York, 1904-1926-1968." The construction of the church and the issue of what to name it caused much commotion in the village.
Apolytikion of Saint Athanasios the Great "A pillar you became of Orthodoxy, with dogmas sacred the Church supporting, O Hierarch Athanasios; for declaring the Son consubstantial with the Father, you brought shame to Arius. Father Osios, Christ our God do you entreat, to grant to us the great mercy."
Some villagers, including Papanikolas Papageorgiou, wanted to name it after the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary.
The Bishop of Nafpaktos Ambrosios agreed with this suggestion, since the village already had a church dedicated to St. Athanasios; he went ahead and inaugurated the church with the name upon which he and Papanikolas had agreed. The village was in an uproar, since the vast majority of its occupants wanted the new church to be called "St. Athanasios" as well.
G. N. Chatzis, who lived in the United States at the time, ended the controversy when he came into contact with Ambrosios and offered him a check for 300 dollars - in the name of the St. Athanasios Association - to change the name to the one most popular with the villagers.
He agreed, not knowing at the time the check was actually a plain piece of paper, and he had been fooled.
The Bishop did not attempt to cash the check until it was too late, and the name had already been changed under his orders.
Despite the eventual acquiescence of the Bishop, no one wanted to remove the icon of the Annunciation in order to replace it with one of St. Athanasios; they felt it was too sacrilegious. A man named Yiannis Astrapelos, from the village of Sitista, undertook the job.
The iconstand was sculpted out of plaster, and all of its icons were created by K. Kotsis in 1926, in Patras. Unfortunately, many icons and holy items were stolen from the churches of Perista in recent years, leaving the village bereft of some beautiful pieces of artwork.
Please help us complete the project of Agios Athanasios!!! All of us together! For the "highlight" of our village! Agios Athanasios for sure will always be there for us.
* AGHIA PARASKEVI & CEMETERY
"Appropriate to your calling, O Champion Paraskevi, you worshipped with the readiness your name bears. For an abode you obtained faith, which is your namesake. Wherefore, you pour forth healing and intercede for our souls." - Apolytikion of St. Paraskevi- (First tone)
The small church dedicated to St. Paraskevi is located inside the cemetary walls; today it is a one-room structure, fitting about 2 to 3 persons in all, and is used to house icons and also functions as a place where visitors to the cemetery can light candles in memory of those they have lost Most of the icons housed in the little building are modern, with the exception of an 1844 icon donated by Papathanasis Patilis. The room itself is actually what remains of a larger church, built in 1844.
The structure visible today was rebuilt out of the original church's remains in 1963-4, under the instruction of Elias A. Valaoras. A plaque tacked near the entrance reads, "Aghia Paraskevi 1965. Association of Peristians in Athens. By donation of Athanasios I. Valaoras, Elias Ath. Valaoras, Filios (wife) of Elias Valaoras." The ancient cemetery used to lie directly above the main square of Perista, between the old St. Athanasios and the store owned by D. Kommatas.
In it, graves containing prehistoric skeletons folded in half and covered by large slabs of rock were found. Unfortunately, many of the ancient graves and artifacts were ruined and/or lost when a new road was being constructed in the area in 1967. At the start of the nineteenth century, there were two fully functioning cemeteries in Perista. One was the Muslim cemetery, located above the area called Lainaki today, and the other was the cemetery for Christians, located between the new St. Athanasios and the current location of St. Paraskevi.
Then-head priest N. Papgeorgiou gave instructions in 1920 to expand the cemetery grounds and to fence them in; in 1963-4, the cemetery was expanded further, and new, sturdier walls were built around it. Funds were donated by the St. Athanasios Association in the United States, and a committee was formed in Athens to oversee the project. They appointed Elias A. Valaoras to handle the
At the start of the nineteenth century, there were two fully functioning cemeteries in Perista. One was the Muslim cemetery, located above the area called Lainaki today, and the other was the cemetery for Christians, located between the new St. Athanasios and the current location of St. Paraskevi.
* AGHIOI APOSTOLOI Destroyed in the great mudslide of 1917, this church was one of Perista's oldest. Located near the Perivoli fountain, it could only fit a few people at a time and had a tile roof. V. Valaoras described the great natural disaster in his book The Village Doctor: "The first rains fell late that year, but they continued without stopping until March of the next year. Rivers and streams overflowed, and the earth everywhere was thoroughly seeped, so much so that it became unstable and began to slide, with tragic consequences for Perista.
"O Holy Apostles, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls, forgiveness of sins." - Apolytikion of the Twelve Apostles
By mid-February of 1917, the first deep fissure had appeared on the landscape, widening and lengthening between houses, near the little church of the Apostles. In a few days the church was gone, as if swallowed by the earth. Slowly and without mercy, the terrible fissure grew towards the center of the village, taking with it sheds, gates, and homes, and filled the village's fresh water fountains with mud, drying them up or causing the water to become undrinkable.The fissure extended to the village square and the old St. Athanasios, where it collapsed three large walls and the lower portion of the church. It finally stopped at the cemetery of Aghia Paraskevi, but only after threatening the school building and the new church.The people were terrified of this great natural disaster, which threatened their entire village, and frantically said prayers and lit candles to the saints, pleading for the salvation of their village." The new church of the Apostles was built in 1936, on a wide, stable expanse of land in Mirtzani. It is maintained in good condition and is constantly being renovated; most of its icons are from recent years.
Two plaques adorn the church walls. One reads "Holy Church of the Apostles, Vasilios T. Kefaliakos 1936." A monument to Kostas Kefaliakos, a hero from the battle of Mesologgi, stands in front of the church, and in 1960 an icon depicting the Apostles was erected near the public road. A plaque for it reads "In memory of Ioannis and Vasiliskis Pitouras."
* AGHIA TRIADA HOLY TRINITY
South of the village in the location of the same name, was the small church of Aghia Triada, in reality just a small wooden shed.
A plaque on its walls read: "1850 August, Papathansios Patilis, Founder" The plaque bore an engraved cross down its middle. The small church collapsed with time, however, and in 1972 the people of Perista collected enough funds to erect another church in the same name, but larger and sturdier than the original. It even boasts its own bell.
"Bless O Christ our God You,, who made the fishermen all-ed are wise,sending upon them the Holy Spirit and, through them, netting the world. O loving One, glory to You." - Apolytikion of Pentecost
They affixed a plaque to the new structure which, due to harsh weather conditions, is hardly legible now, but it reads: "This church was originally built in 1771 under the leadership of Father A. Patilis, and rebuilt in 1972 with funds donated by the people of Perista." Father Patilis was a prominent personality in Perista during his time (first half of the nineteenth century), so when his ecclesiastical stole (what Orthodox priests wear over their robes) was recently discovered in his old home, it was moved for safekeeping to a storage room in the old St. Athanasios church.
* AGHIOS IOANNIS
The little church devoted to St. John was built southeast of the village in 1873, funded solely or in part by Triandafillos Thanasoulis and Dimitris Valaoras. It is in relatively good condition, and most of its icons are dated 1890-1900. Its location, though at quite a distance from the village, is attractive enough to draw villagers on daily excursions during the summer.
"The just are recalled with songs of praise. But for you, O Forerunner, the Lord's testimony is enough. For you proved yourself more honored even than the Prophets, since you were found worthy to baptize in the river the One you had foretold. Thus, having more than upheld the truth, you had the joy of preaching, even to those in the Hades, the good news: of God manifested in the flesh, who takes away the sin of the world and grants us His great mercy."
Apolytikion for the beheading of StJohn the Baptist - (Second Tone)
* PROFITIS ELIAS
Another one of Perista's small picturesque churches, the church dedicated to Elias the Prophet is located directly above the village, at an altitude of 1,000 meters.
An older structure used to exist in the cleared area directly in front of the structure, but it was destroyed in 1907 by a landslide. A small icon stands in that location today; the icons inside the church itself are dated 1889-1900
A monk by the name of Daniel Dimitrios Thanasoulis constructed the new church a few feet away from the old one, on the same slope where Demos Hatzinikoloaou owned property. Daniel himself recorded the date and events surrounding the church opening/inauguration in a church log book: It was Wednesday, July 8, 1915; the bishop of Nafpaktos Ambrosios and Archdeacon Arsenios were also present. He wrote that the church houses bones and artifacts from holy martyrs in its inner sanctuary, particulary those of St. George, St. Tryfon, and St. Pandeleimon. Church lecturers/hymn singers were appointed; these were N. Papgeorgiou, I. Kotsarellis, and I. Exarchos.
Daniel had constructed a tiny one-room cell above the church to function as living quarters for himself, but it collapsed shortly after his deathMore recently, land surrounding the church was dug up by treasure hunters, because rumors were circulating that someone had buried gold there during the Civil War years. The church festival is held on July 20, and is one of the most popular festivals of the year in Perista. Prophet Elijah (Elias) "The incarnate Angel, the Cornerstone of the Prophets, the second Forerunner of the Coming of Christ, the glorious Elijah (Elias), who from above, sent down to Elisha the grace to dispel sickness and cleanse lepers, abounds therefore in healing for those who honor him." - Apolytikion of Prophet Elijah (Elias). (Fourth Tone)
* AGHIA SOTIRA
The church of Sotira is located on the Peristian side of the Perista-Perko-Platanos border.
It, too, was constructed by Daniel the monk, who donated the little church to the Ambelakiotissa monastery. Upon his death, monastery leaders appointed a three-member committee to oversee the upkeep and renovation of the little structure.
The church was built in 1910, and remains in decent condition today. Its icons are dated after 1900.
The monk dedicated his entire life to the construction and maintenance of his two churches, specifically Sotira and Profitis Elias. Daniel also constructed a small guest house near the church, for visiting villagers and travelers from afar.
One story holds that some mule-drivers once brought themselves and their animals into Daniel's church to escape a raging storm.
When a villager told Daniel what had happened, expecting him to be upset for the sacrilege that had been committed, Daniel calmly replied that "it pleases Jesus to house animals in His home, for they once housed Him in theirs."
This church was passed over to the monastery at Kozitsa for maintenance and care after Daniel's death
A church log book records the dates and events surrounding the establishment of Sotira: it was inaugurated on Wednesday, June 9, 1921. The church housed the remains of St. Clement (Jan. 23), St. Efstratios (Dec. 13), and St. Mamandos (Sept. 2). The inauguration was made official by the presence of Bishop of Nafpaktos-Evritania region Ambrosios. Other priests present were N. Papageorgiou, I. Kotsarelis, A. Tsipouras, and Papasavas.
As with most of the other churches in Perista, this structure was also built upon an older church, which had the same dedication (Metamorfosi tou Sotiros). The existence of an older structure is evidenced by the recent discovery of a rock in the area bearing the date 1898. The building itself and its surroundings were renovated in 1990-2, under the direction of the Church Council of Perista:Nikos B. Kefaliakos,G.I. Thanasoulis and Kostas I. Lois.
The festival (panigiri) for the Church of Sotira is celebrated in Perista on the main square "platia"on August 6.
The Holy Transfiguration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ "You were transfigured on the mount, Christ God revealing Your glory to Your disciples, insofar as they could comprehend. Illuminate us sinners also with Your everlasting light, through the intercessions of the Theotokos. Giver of light, glory to You." - (Grave Tone) - Apolytikion of the Holy Transfiguration