Hosios Loukas means Venerable Luke in Greek. This refers to the monastery’s founder, Luke of Steiris (896 – 953 AD). As a child, he was exceptionally close to God and was seen levitating during prayer. Most of his life was spent in self-imposed isolation. His miracles and war predictions drew so many followers that the hermit established this monastery in 946 AD. The buildings were funded by pilgrims who sought a miracle from Luke. After his death, believers continued arriving to pay homage. They would sleep beside Luke’s tomb for days with hopes of receiving the saint’s healing powers. This religious ritual is called incubation.