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Preveli Monastery, Πίσω Μόνη Πρέβελη 740 60, Greece
Joanna, a friend from Rethymno was accompanying me. And she led me to the story of the legendary Agathangelos Lagouvardos, the heroic abbot of the monastery of Prevelis. Agathangelos was abbot in the monastery of Preveli during the years after the Battle of Crete and at his village home he gathered British , New Zealanders and Australians, all of them soldiers blocked in the island of Crete after the Allies’ defeat at the famous Battle. From that house he gradually transferred them to the monastery of Preveli and then he brought them down to the beach with the palm trees, where the Allies’ submarines took them and whisked them away to safe ground, usually in Egypt. When the Germans realized what happened- after many soldiers had been whisked already – the magnanimous and benevolent abbot Agathangelos preferred to leave his home and country, for not causing retaliation in the villages. And so it happened. And the Germans did not destroy Amari area… He abandoned Crete and arrived in Alexandria, in Egypt. There he put under oath, according to the ritual, the first Greek government of National unity, which consisted of George Papandreou, Tsirimokos Porphyrogenitus and others. One day before returning to Greece , Agathangelos died mysteriously in Alexandria. The small house of Lagouvardos family in the village keeps up on the whitewashed walls the memory of the legendary Abbot of Preveli monastery. Like a small flame that warms inside us the love for the fellow man …
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