Founder of the monastery is St. Ioannikios. He descended to Serres around the year 1250 and chose Mount Athos, to experience a higher spiritual life. The completion of wandering of St. Ioannikios as hermit led him to the place where the monastery stands today. He was succeeded by his nephew, Joachim. The second founder of the Monastery, together with his Episcopal duties, undertook a major reconstruction work, safeguarding and preserving the achievements of the Monastery, which he appointed to be inaccessible. In 1300 he erected the present church, which he dedicated to St. John the Prodromos. Among the generous sponsors of his efforts where important Byzantine emperors such as Andronikos II “(1282-1328), Andronikos III” (1328-1341) and John F. Kantakouzenos (1341-1354), the Byzantine princess Simonis, daughter of Andronikos II and wife of the ruler of Serbian Milutin (1282-1321), who was curator of the Monastery.
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