Bishop Eirinaios Museum in Kissamos

A museum for bishop Eirinaios Galanakis in Kissamos

A new museum has opened in Kissamos in western Crete earlier this year. The museum is dedicated to the former Metropolitan Bishop of Kissamos, Eirinaios Galanakis, also known as the Grandfather of the Orthodox Religion.

eirianios Museum in Kastelli Kissamou

The Eirinaios’ museum was inaugurated by the Patriarch Bartholomaios from Constantinople. The museum is located in downtown Kissamos (Kastelli) and it was established to promote and spotlight the vast offerings and services of the former bishop.

The chairman of the Association for the designation of Eirinaios’ services, Dimitris Kyritsakis, has denoted that there are still many things that need to be added and ameliorated in the museum, but this is a great start in order to inform the people about the charitable work and provision of Eirinaios in the region.

In the museum, visitors can see many personal items of Eirinaios, such as canonicals, clerical clothes, books, even his bed, as well as a rich selection of pictures from his early youth to his late years. There are also videos with personal moments of this great for Kastelli man.

During the inauguration of the museum, Mr Kyritsakis referred to the multilayered work of Eirinaios, reminding that he served the region for almost half a century.

Mr Kyritsakis referred to the Bishop as a bright, enlightened person who has offered great help to his people, assisting them in their difficult moments, encouraging education and culture, and of course love for God and the Church.

Everyone who happened to get to know Eirinaios has something to remember for this great man, including his warm words and speeches for love, community, solidarity and peace for all people.

In Eirinaios’ case, it was not only about words though, according to Mr Kyritsakis. There are numerous charitable associations and foundations, established under his assistance and surveillance. There have been schools established by him, offering young people to learn arts and crafts, and schools for disabled or people with special needs. There are several examples of the practical help he has offered to his fellow citizens and his country.

A short biography for Bishop Eirinaios Galanakis

Eirinaios Galanakis was born in 1911 in Nerohori Apokoronou in Crete, and was named Michael.

Archbishop Eirinaios Galanakis

He studied at the Theological School of the University of Athens and he worked as a teacher in high schools in Chania prefecture.

In 1943 he was arrested by the German forces in Greece, due to his speeches for resistance and freedom at the Church mass, but was saved by the Bishop of Apokoronas.

In 1946 he was consecrated a deacon and received the name Eirinaios and in 1957 he became Metropolitan Bishop of Kissamos (or Kastelli Kissamou, as the town is also known).

His bright mind, his love for arts and culture worked like a lighthouse in the region, encouraging people to be educated and well nurtured. He established numerous foundations and philanthropic associations, schools and craft academies, cultural associations and many more clubs and benefit societies. His writing chare has also been significant and impressive.

erinaios galanakis and mikis theodorakis
Eirinaios Galanakis and Mikis Theodorakis

From 1972-1980 Eirinaios Galanakis undertook a mission to re-establish and rejuvenate the Archbishopy in Germany, thus he worked in this country, establishing new Orthodox Churches and Archbishopies in Bonne and other regions and published a monthly journal for the Greek immigrants in Germany.

He also managed to introduce Greek Theology in German Universities, and assisted the Greek workers and immigrants in Germany both spiritually and practically.

In 1981 he returned to Crete to continue his work and deeds there until 2005 when he resigned due to advanced age.

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