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Information and schedules of Catholic Masses in Santorini

Known for its iconic beauty and idyllic sunsets, Santorini claims a top spot as one of Greece’s most enchanting islands, graced with its picturesque blue domes. Beyond its visual appeal, Santorini boasts a deep-seated Catholic heritage that stretches all the way back to the 13th century. For the Catholic traveler keen on experiencing religious observance amidst this scenic backdrop, there’s good news: Fira, Santorini’s bustling capital, is home to two welcoming Catholic churches where you can attend Mass and embrace your spiritual journey.

Through this blog post, we aim to provide essential details, including Mass schedules and additional information to amplify your visit to Santorini’s Catholic sanctuaries. No matter what brings you here – be it a quest for a perfect wedding venue, a desire for a meaningful spiritual retreat, or a thirst for a rich cultural immersion – you’ll discover the Catholic churches of Santorini are well-equipped to fulfill your aspirations.

The Catholic Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist

Nestled in the heart of Santorini, the Catholic Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist stands as the foremost Catholic church on the island, as well as the epicenter of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Santorini. Constructed in 1823, the cathedral boasts a Baroque architectural style, accentuated by its striking blue-gray and cream exterior and a distinguished bell tower housing three bells. Despite suffering extensive damage from the 1956 earthquake, the cathedral was meticulously restored and welcomed visitors once again by 1970. Its interior features an impressive collection of paintings, statues, and a beautifully crafted wooden altar. Located in Fira’s Catholic quarter, just a stone’s throw from the main square, the cathedral offers stunning views of the caldera.

How to Find the Cathedral

To discover the cathedral, begin at Fira’s main square—home to the cable car station and bus terminal—and simply follow the signage. A mere 10-minute stroll along Fira’s main artery brings you to this historical sanctuary. Alternatively, you could opt for a taxi ride or a private tour. Open to guests from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily, barring Mass times, entrance is complimentary, though donations are graciously accepted. Enhance your visit with a trip to the adjacent Monastery of the Dominican Sisters, which houses a quaint museum and gift shop.

Mass Schedule Overview

For those interested in attending Mass, the cathedral caters to your spiritual needs with several options throughout the year and in different languages. From June through September, English-language Masses are held every Sunday at 10:00 a.m. and Saturdays at 7:00 p.m. During the months of October to May, Greek Masses take place on Sundays at 10:00 a.m. and Saturdays at 6:00 p.m., with a daily Greek Mass at 8:00 a.m. in the Dominican Sisters’ Monastery. To stay abreast of the Mass schedule, visit the Diocese of Santorini’s website or consult the notice board immediately outside the cathedral. It is advisable to arrive ahead of time during the bustling tourist seasons due to potential crowding. Remember, appropriate attire is expected—please dress modestly by covering shoulders and knees.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Fira

Nestled in Fira, the Sacred Heart Catholic Church serves as a beacon of faith for the Jesuit community. Established in 1956, it rose from the ruins of its predecessor, which succumbed to an earthquake. Its design is a blend of simplicity and modernity, characterized by a pristine white facade punctuated by a distinct red cross. Conveniently located close to the cable car station, it is on the path to Fira’s old port.

Mass Times and Languages

The Sacred Heart Catholic Church warmly welcomes worshippers with Mass services in multiple languages. During the bustling summer months from June to September, the church offers an English Mass every Sunday at 9:00 a.m., followed by Italian at 10:00 a.m., and Polish at 11:00 a.m. In the quieter season from October to May, Masses are held in Greek every Sunday at 9:00 a.m., with an English service at 10:00 a.m. For early risers, a daily Greek Mass takes place at 7:00 a.m. in the adjacent Jesuit residence chapel. For the latest schedule, the church invites you to visit its website or refer to the notice board outside its doors. Remember to uphold a respectful attire, covering shoulders and knees, when attending.

Special Liturgical Celebrations

Throughout the year, the Sacred Heart Catholic Church distinguishes itself with special liturgical celebrations such as the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, and the Feast of St. Francis Xavier. These events are typically marked by a solemn Mass, a heartfelt procession, and a community blessing. The church’s doors are also open to those seeking fellowship through prayer groups, Bible studies, catechism classes, and social gatherings. In addition to its liturgical duties, the church extends pastoral care and spiritual guidance to the Catholic faithful and the many visitors of Santorini.

Attending a Mass in Santorini: What to Expect

Experiencing a Mass in Santorini is an extraordinary opportunity that enriches not only your spiritual life but also your appreciation for the island’s vibrant culture. Whether you step into the Catholic Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist or the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Fira, you’ll be greeted by a warm and varied Catholic community with members hailing from across the globe. When you attend Mass in Santorini, here’s what you should anticipate:

Participating in the Liturgy

The Mass in Santorini preserves the classic structure of Catholic masses worldwide, though there might be slight differences in language and seasonal customs. Engage with the liturgy by joining in the responses, following the readings, sharing in the prayers, and singing along with the hymns. The mass may be in Greek or other languages, so feel free to use a missal or booklet if you need assistance keeping up. For practicing Catholics ready to receive the Eucharist, approach the altar and signal if you prefer the host on your tongue or in your hand. If you’re not Catholic or unable to take communion, feel free to ask for a blessing by crossing your arms over your chest—a welcoming gesture from the church.

Community Engagement

The Mass’s conclusion is a perfect time to engage with fellow worshippers and the priests, who tend to be approachable and eager to assist. Feel free to ask about the church, Santorini’s culture, or the Catholic faith. This is also a wonderful chance to swap stories and insights, offering you a deeper connection to the locals’ lives and traditions. You might even forge new friendships or meet fellow travelers. Your support for the church is always welcomed, whether through a donation, purchasing memorabilia, or offering time for volunteer activities. Attending Mass in Santorini is more than a religious act; it’s a bridge to understanding the heart and soul of this magnificent island.


Throughout this blog post, we’ve provided essential details and timetable specifics for Catholic Masses in the picturesque setting of Santorini. Additionally, we’ve presented practical advice for locating and visiting the island’s two principal Catholic sanctuaries in Fira: the majestic Catholic Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist and the serene Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

Our discussion extended to the enriching experiences that attending a Mass in Santorini can offer. From immersing yourself in the liturgy and fostering community connections to absorbing the local culture and the island’s breathtaking beauty, the reasons are compelling. It is our hope that the insights shared have kindled a sense of excitement and curiosity, encouraging you to consider a Mass as part of your travel plans to Santorini. Whether you hold Catholic beliefs or simply appreciate profound cultural encounters, the Catholic churches of Santorini promise to offer an element of significance and enchantment.

Don’t overlook the chance to deepen your spiritual and cultural journey amidst the awe-inspiring landscapes of one of the world’s most astonishing destinations.


What time is the Mass in Fira Santorini?

To find out the current Mass schedule in Fira, Santorini, it’s best to check with the local parish directly as times can vary, especially during festive seasons or special events.

What is the largest church in Santorini?

The largest church in Santorini is the Cathedral Church of Candlemas of the Lord located in Fira. This majestic edifice is not only a place of worship but also a landmark of the island’s rich religious heritage.

Why does Santorini have so many churches?

Santorini’s numerous churches are a reflection of the island’s deep religious traditions and history. After the devastating earthquake of 1956, many were rebuilt as a symbol of the community’s resilience and faith.

How many churches are in Santorini Greece?

There are over 250 churches scattered across the island of Santorini, showcasing a unique blend of Byzantine, Venetian, and Cycladic architectural styles, mirroring the island’s cultural mosaic.

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