Many EOKA fighters, among them Gregoris Afxentiou, were finding shelter at Machairas Monastery and the surrounding areas, protecting themselves from the English occupants. In close proximity from the monastery, in a rocky with wild vegetation area in the Machairas forest, Gregoris Afxentiou with his comrades, Antonis Papadopoulos, Feidias Symenonidis, Avgoustis Efstathiou, Andreas Stylianou and Minas Mina chose to build their hide out.
When the English discovered the hide out they called out Afxentiou to surrender. Afxentiou commanded his men to exit the hideout and surrender, while he remained in the hideout to fight his last battle. After several hours of an uneven fight with the English soldiers, Afxentiou will die after the English set fire on his hideout using gasoline. The day was 3rd of March 1957 when the “Eagle of Machairas” gained a place in the heroes Hall of Fame at the age of 29. The scorched body of Greforis Afxentiou was buried by the English soldiers at the Central Prison in Nicosia due to fear of a people’s uprising by the English.
Every year a memorial is taking place at the Machairas Monastery and flowers are deposited at the place of death of Gregoris Afxentiou.
The combination of the natural environment, of religion with the Monastery of Machairas , and the hideout, this event symbolizes the victory of spirit over the matter. Gregoris Afxentiou and all EOKA fighters defied their corporeality and through their overcome of fear of death they achieved the freedom of spirit.