Abbot Gabriel Marinakis

From Phantis
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Gabriel Marinakis was the Cretan abbot who defended the Monastery of Arkadi during the revolt of 1866 against the Turks.

Marinakis was born ca. 1826 and was originally from the village of Margarites in Mylopotamos province, Rethymno. He became a monk at an early age. A patriot, he was a keen supporter of Cretan liberation and union (enosis) with Greece.

In 1866, Abbot Gabriel welcomed the Cretan revolutionary committee in the Monastery of Arkadi. The local Turkish ruler, Ismail Pasha, sent religious leaders to deliver the message to Gabriel that he would destroy the monastery if the committee was not put out. Gabriel refused to give in and, on November 8, 1866, Arkadi was besieged by 15,000 Turkish and Egyptian troops with 30 cannons.

The following day, despite fierce resistance, the defences of the monastery were breached. Gabriel ordered the besieged women, children and elderly into the cell they had been using as a gunpowder room. He then ordered Konstantinos Giaboudakis to blast the barrels containing the gunpowder. 864 Greeks - among them Gabriel - were killed in the holocaust of Arkadi and over 1,500 Turks and Egyptians.