By Bishop Grigorios of Mesaoria
Our Holy Church commemorates today, December 13, the Martyrs Eustratius, Auxentius, Eugene, Mardarius, and Orestes as well as St. Lucy the Virgin. We also honour the Saints Neophytos, Ignatius, Prokopios and Neilos, founders of the Holy Machaira Monastery.
Saint Neophytos went to Cyprus from the Jordan desert with his fellow-ascetic Ignatius. When Neophytos died, Ignatius with another elder ascetic, Prokopios, went to Constantinople and asked Manuel Komnenos levy and gold bullion to build the Holy Monastery of the Theotokos.
When Prokopios died, monk Neilos came to the monastery and became Ignatius’ assistant and the first abbot of the monastery. After Ignatius, Neilos died, who was also Bishop of Tamasos. Saint Neilos organized the monastery and left us in writing “a canonical norm on the communal system of the Holy Monastery of the Theotokos on Mount Machaira.”
Source: Church of Cyprus