Monday, January 23, 2017

2. The Holy Grotto of the Revelation of St. John, Patmos Island, Greece

By: Elmer Towns

The church is located in a small cave on the Isle of Patmos, one of the 12 Greek islands, approximately 100 miles off the shore of Turkey and the ancient city of Ephesus.  John was banished to this island as a political prisoner and remained there around 18 months.  He lived in this cave below the hilltop temple of Diana.

Tradition tells us it was here in this cave that John wrote the book of Revelation. The cave is approximately 30’ x 40’ and technically has two mouths, or openings. 

I visited the cave on Easter Sunday morning, 2005, during a Greek Orthodox church service. I was told it was the longest continuous existing Christian worship service still holding Christian services. There were approximately 30-35 worshipping in the Greek Orthodox Sunday service.  It was a beautiful day to celebrate Easter.

Waiting to enter the grotto, we were told to walk around the inside of the cave while the worshippers were gathered in the middle of the room.  However, in return we had to put an offering in the plate for that privilege. 

The thing that struck me the most was a square rock approximately 2’ x 2’ that jetted out from the wall topped by a slanted writing table. I could imagine John writing the Book of Revelation on that rock. I had to touch it as I passed by.

Two things struck me about this grotto.  First it was a place where John received Revelations/visions from God that became the content for the Book of Revelation.  Second, it was the place where he wrote the last book of the Bible. 

Even though I worship differently from the Greek Orthodox congregation who was there, I was thrilled it was still a place of worship after all of these years. 

Get our materials and watch our videos to gain appreciation for this unique chruch house in a cave. 

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