December 2, 2023

Did Saint Porphyrios Reveal the Location of the Lost Tomb of Alexander the Great?

In 2017 a book titled Venerable Porphyrios (Testimonies - Teachings - Counsels) was published in Greek, consisting of various testimonies of visitors and spiritual children of Saint Porphyrios of Kavsokalyva (+ December 2, 1991). According to one testimony recorded in this book, Saint Porphyrios even indicated where he believed the remains of Alexander the Great are located. This is what the testimony says:

"One day we went to visit him, and the Elder told us that with the gift he had since he was a young child, he could distinguish from far away the location of sources of water, holy relics, ancient temples and ancient tombs. Even regarding the tomb of Alexander the Great, he would tell us that it is neither in Egypt nor where they are looking, but it is here in Greece, in ancient Dion, and specifically in Katerini in Kontariotissa, next to the old church of the Panagia."

Kontariotissa is a village in the Pieria regional unit of Macedonia, Greece. In ancient times Kontariotissa was known as Pieris. Ancient Dion is located near or even a part of Kontariotissa, at the foot of Mount Olympus. Philip II and his son Alexander the Great celebrated victories in Dion, and Alexander assembled his armies and performed magnificent sacrifices to Zeus there on the eve of his campaign to Asia in 334 BC. Later, he had 25 bronze statues of the cavaliers fallen in the Battle of the Cranicos, erected in the Zeus Olympus Shrine. After the death of Alexander the Great, the general Scopas of Aetolia sacked Dion and the temple of Zeus was set on fire.

The site of ancient Dion was first identified by the English traveler William Martin Leake on December 2, 1806 (interestingly on the same date that Elder Porphyrios reposed in 1991). Dion, as we said, is the site of a large temple dedicated to Zeus, as well as a series of temples to Demeter and to Isis (the Egyptian goddess was a favorite of Alexander). Systematic archaeological exploration did not begin until 1928. From then until 1931, George Sotiriadis carried out a series of surveys, uncovering an episcopal basilica from early Christian times, specifically the fourth and fifth century AD. The assumption that an ancient temple was under the basilica proved to be deceptive after they had dug five meters deep. The most important find of this first period of excavation was a Macedonian tomb from the 4th century BC, which had already been plundered by grave-robbers in ancient times. The excavations were discontinued in 1931. Haralambos Makaronas found a second Macedonian grave in 1955. A third grave was discovered a year later.

Could this be the location of the tomb of Alexander the Great?

It should also be noted that on a hill on the northwestern outskirts of the village Kontariotissa, about 6.5 kilometers southwest of Katerini, is the Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos known as Panagia Kontariotissa. The construction is dated to the 7th century, structural changes took place in the 11th century and in the 15th century the building was restored. The stones used to construct this church came from ancient Dion. Some of the terracotta floor tiles are marked "DION".

Could this be the location of the tomb of Alexander the Great?

Perhaps it is impossible to scientifically confirm if one of the above two locations are the location of the tomb of Alexander the Great, but if this testimony is correct and handed down to us accurately of what Saint Porphyrios said, it may be worth considering in light of the historic importance this truly had for Alexander the Great, and in light of the fact that Saint Porphyrios was known to accurately identify places previously not known.

Become a Patreon or Paypal Supporter:

Recurring Gifts

Contact Form


Email *

Message *