Prolonged isolation from the Byzantine church during the Arab occupation had left Cretan Christians without spiritual guidance, providing fertile ground for all kinds of superstition to take root. Immediately after the island was retaken, leading figures in Orthodox monasticism undertook to consolidate the true faith, most prominent among whom were Saint Nicon Metanoeite(of Repentance) and St. John Xenos, from Pyrgos in the district of Pyrgiotissa. As part of the reorganization of the Cretan Church, at some undetermined point the seat of the archdiocese was transferred from Gortyn to Chandax and the dioceses were restructured.
Monasticism grew considerably in this period. Contemporary sources inform us that more than twenty monasteries existed on the island, several of which were significant centres of intellectual and artistic activity.
The gradual increase in church estates, particularly with regard to monasteries, is clearly linked to this climate of religious revival. Even monasteries lying outside Crete, such as that of St. Catherine of Sinai, acquired significant land grants on the island via donations from the faithful.