Vestry of the Monastery

Treasures, icons, manuscripts.
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The objects in the sacristy and museum of the Monastery of the Vlatades are of great interest, but represent only a part of those which the Monastery has had at various times. They are all that has remained from the fierce plundering to which the Monastery was subjected in 1387 and 1821, as well as from other forms of abstraction.
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Two sided icon.
Side A: "Jesus Christ with angels, apostles and different saints".
Side B: "Crucifiction".
ca. End of 15th century.
Insert icon ca. 14th century.
The monastery has relics of Saints Gregory the Theologian, James the Persian and Modestus in a small metal reliquary, as well as some of Saint Athanasios, the Anargyri (Unmercenary Doctors) and Prokopios in another.
In the sacristy are kept three small boxes of peculiar construction. They are wooden invested with silver each one with a silver cup, similarly of curious design, packed within it. In one of these there are pieces of the Holy Chalice. Above the opening of each box, on the outside, there is engraved a depiction of the Transfiguration, while at the corners are representations of the Cherubim. On the inside is an icon of the Last Supper. On the cups stored in the boxes is engraves the icon of Jesus Christ with busts of the Twelve Apostles all around it.
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"The apostols Peter and Paul"
ca. 15th - 16th century.
These boxes were made in turn in 1850, 1860 and 1862. Their purpose was to preserve in the cups they contained the remains of the Holy Chalice. There was, indeed, lodged at the Monastery a valuable object which considered to be the Holy Chalice from the Last Supper. In the sigillium of Cyril Loukaris (1633), it is called "The goblet from which Christ drank", while in common parlance it was known as the Holy Drinking Bowl. It was carried in procession every year as a blessing for Christians.
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"Apostle Bartholomew"
ca. 15th - 16th century.
Cesare Daponte says it was "of gourd", while others assert that it was of coconut. There is testimony as to the existence of the Holy Chalice until 1836. A short while later, however, it fell to pieces from over-use, and it was then that the three cups were made, into which were put the pieces of the Chalice. The small boxes were made to hold the cups. A fourth cup and its corresponding box was sent in 1850 to the Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna, at her request, because of her delicate health. In only one of the surviving cups has a piece of the Holy Chalice remained. There is also in the sacristy another simple, silver cup from 1764, as well as other objects - a blessing cross, a Gospel book of Russian origin and so on.
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"St Anna with virgin Mary".
ca. First half of 18th century.
The Monastery of the Vladates has an impressive collection of portable icons, some of which are of great historical and artistic value. Most of them have been cleaned. They come from the Katholikon of the Monastery and from the churches of its dependencies.
Of particular interest are:
An icon of the Mother of God, head and shoulders, of the severe type of Iaca?onea - She Who Guides - (0.90 x 0.71 m.). She is wearing a deep purple mantle and head covering, with Christ held on her left arm and her right raised in supplication, It is a work of the Palaeologan era about 1360-1380, and probably from the same workshop which painted the murals in the Katholikon of the Monastery.
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"St Eleftherios with St Paraskevi"
ca. First half of 18th century.
A small icon (0.51 x 0.41 m.) also from Palaeologan times, on which are depicted, in three successive bands, six scenes form the Passion (Last Supper, Washing of the Feet, Prayer in Gethsemane, Betrayal, Scourging and Christ Hanging on the Cross). The scenes are divided off with fine lines. It is most likely the work of a splendid artistic workshop of Thessalonica (about 1370), and one of the rare examples of a Byzantine icon with scenes exclusively from the Passion.
A processional double-faced icon (0.98 x 0.71 m.). In the centre of the main face there is a smaller icon of the 14th century inset, with a depiction in two bands. In the upper there is a portrayal of Christ between two archangels, and below there is the Mother of God with Christ between the Archangel Michael and Saint John the Baptist.
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"St Spyridon and St Nicholas"
ca. First half of 18th century.
Above the inset icon, Christ is represented between two archangels, while below this composition, to the left and right of the inset, we have the Apostles Peter and Paul, with three soldier Saints below (Saint George, Saint Theodore The Recruit and Saint Demetrios). On the other side of the icon is a representation of the Crucifixion. The subjects of both sides are iconographically related and have to do with the Glory and Passion of Christ. Apart from the small inset icon (13th or 14th century), the iconography of both sides is held to be work of the 15th century.
A wonderful icon of the 17th century which represents the two patron saints of Thessalonica together, Saint Demetrios and Saint Gregory Palamas.
The Monastery's collection of manuscripts, although depleted, is nevertheless of considerable value. It consists of 93 codices, which represent bibliographic activity over ten centuries, from the 10th to the 19th. There are indications that many codices which were written in the Monastery are now to be found in other libraries.
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"St. Barbara and St. Kyriaki"
ca. First half of 18th century.
No. 9 from the 10th century which contains the Holy Parallels from the Scriptures by Saint John of Damascus. This is the earliest codex of this text and the most valuable from the point of view of palaeography. It contains 252 sheets of fine white membrane. Written in double columns, in a studied hand and decorated with headings.
No. 93 membrane from the 12th century. Contains orations of Saint John Chrysostom, written in double column pages.
No. 14, from the 15th century, paper. Contains texts by Galen.
No. 36, from the 15th century, paper. Contains the history of Flavius Josephus, as well as two texts by Xenophon. It also has a reminder of the fall of Thessalonica.
No. 92, paper, from the 14th century. It contains the Rule of Saint Sabbas, unheaded. It has a very interesting note concerning its dedication to the Monastery.
No. 1, a music codex from the 15th century, containing a variety of special melodies, with voice notation.
No. 16, form the 15th century, contains readings from the epistles with voice notation above a text in two columns.
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"The Archangel Michael"
ca. 15th century.
The Monastery Archive is particularly rich in Turkish documents many of which have been translated and published. The oldest of these is the fireman of the Sultan Mehmet II, the Conqueror, by which part of a land holding in Kalamaria was handed over (1444).
The founding imperial chrysovoulon (1350-1354) has been lost, as has the sigillium from Patriarch Neilos. 11 letters do survive, however, from Ecumenical Patriarchs, of which the earliest is that of Patriarch Jeremias II from 1579. There also survive letters from prelates, of which two are by metropolitans of Thessalonica, and a great many other documents referring to matters of land.
The oldest of the surviving codices to do with administration contains items from the years 1736-1843.

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