The Metropolis of Kisamos and Selinon is located in western Crete. Since 1860 it had been referred to as diocese of Kisamos and Selinon, which included the two western eparchies of the prefecture of Chania, namely Kisamos and Selinon. In recent years it was upgraded to Metropolis of Kisamos and Selinon. The diocese was named after the city of Kisamos, an ancient, autonomous city, in the place of which the present city of Kasteli was built, and it existed approximately until the reign of Ioustinianos, as it is mentioned in the Synekdemus by Hierokles. It is also mentioned that it is one of the twenty early Christian dioceses of Crete, even though the first reference to a bishop of Kisamos was that of Eukissos, who attended the Synod in Sardis (343), and later that of Theopompus, who was in Penthekti (691/692). During the 787 Synod, the bishop Leon of Kisamos was present. A lead seal, which is kept in the museum of Rethymnon and dates back in the late 6th or early 7th century, reads “church of Kisamos”. In the Parisian Regular 1555A (731-746), the Metropolitan of Crete (Archbishop) refers to the bishop of Kisamos, who was 11th in hierarchy. The diocese’s activity was interrupted during the occupation of the Arabs in Crete (826-961), and began again during the second Byzantine period. From 1204, the Venetian occupation disallowed every diocese of the island, including Kisamos, to have a Greek Orthodox bishop, since the place was now inhabited by Latins, with the exception of G. Paleokapas during the late years of the occupation, who was, apparently, a Greek uniate.
Which exactly was the jurisdiction of the diocese of Kisamos is not known, but if it is taken into account that there was a diocese of Kantania in Selinon (near the village of Kakodiki) one can affirm that the province of Selinon was not included in the pastoral area of Kisamos.
From 1645, when the Orthodox Metropolitan Neophytos Patellaros came to live in Crete, which was struggling for freedom, the diocese of Kisamos was re-established. It was maintained throughout the Turkish occupation, with the exception of the years 1831-1860 when, due to the great Greek revolution, it was united with the diocese of Kydonia (bishop of Kydonia and Kisamos).
Since its re-establishment, throughout the years of the Cretan State (1898-1912), and until today, it has existed as diocese of Kisamos and Selinon, with its headquarters being in the town of Kasteli, which is the capital of the Kisamos eparchy.
During the 1821 revolution, the bishop of Kisamos Melchisedek was hanged along with his deacon Kallinikos on a plane tree in Splantzia square of Chania. Many clerics of his eparchy were distinguished as revolutionaries during the great 10-year revolution, like Martianos Perakis (eparch of Selinon) and Kallistos Hieromnimon (later bishop of Kydonia). The bishop of Kisamos Gerasimos Stratigakis, as well as the Kissametan monk and theologian Parthenios Peridis played a significant part during the 1866-1869 revolution. Parthenios Peridis was also chairman of the general assembly of the revolution, while a priest called father Emmanuil Kasselos (from Selinon) was head of the revolutionary government.
The region of the diocese contributed to the growth and distinction of the monasterial life, especially after the period when St. Ioannis Xenos was active, in the late 10th century.
The monastic centers, with the most important ones being the Holy Monastery of Gonia and the Holy Monastery of Chrisoskalitissa, were centers of education during the period of slavery, housing schools, libraries and educating several people, who later offered valuable services to their country, such as the later Metropolitan of Athens Misael Apostolidis. Their contribution in the Cretan revolutions is considered of major importance for the liberation struggles, but the sufferings and hardships suffered by the fury of the conquerors were horrific.
Note also, that during the ministry of the Bishop of Kisamos and Selinon Anthimus Leledakis the convent of the Parthenon was founded in 1910, on a hill above the town of Kasteli.
During the Second World War the area of the two provinces suffered many hardships∙ Bishop Evdokimos Sygkelakis was humiliated, imprisoned and exiled. Gonia Monastery was evacuated and occupied by hostile armies and many other members of the clergy were persecuted.
From 1945 onwards, when everyone enjoyed peaceful times, yet still living in their memory the horrors of war and its catastrophic effects, the inhabitants of Western Crete tried to intensify the pace of restoration and progress. This was realised in an unprecedented manner, during the ministry of Bishop of Kisamos & Selinon Irineos Galanakis, a highly educated and energetic man, who showed a unique ability to build institutions (printing, agricultural, technical and housekeeping schools, boarding schools, nursing homes and many other) and churches, and all that not only in Kasteli, but also in the towns of the region (Voukolies, Kolimbari Kandanos, Sougia, Paleochora). The personal radiation of the distinguished Hierarch contributed to making the province an international Christian center, visited by priests and laity of various denominations. All that happened, of course, without undermining the Christian religious tradition of the Cretans. His top creation has been the foundation of the Orthodox Academy of Crete in Kolimbari, which is a foundation of successful spiritual radiation and offer to our island but also worldwide.
It is true that under the pastorate of the most reverent Bishop Irineos Galanakis, one of the smallest Dioceses in population became one of the first in activity and organization.
After Elder Irineos’voluntary resignation (23-8-2005), his Chancellor Archimandrite Amphilochios was elected his successor and present Bishop of Kissamos and Selino (4-10-2005), continuing the saving work of the Church in an effort to meet the modern requirements, challenges and difficulties.