We are all Athonite monks!

Efrem

The website of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Dalmatia offers on its English page a translation of an interview with Abbot Ephraim of Vatopedi monastery. The translation is a little rough around the edges but interesting to read nonetheless. The abbot gives brief answers to a variety of questions. For instance, in his reply to a question about Russian chant he says: 

“Contemporary Russian chant is not ancient. Old unison Russian chant is more prayerful. Byzantine chant is more pleasant and spiritual. But, chant is of secondary importance; the most important is – a clean heart.”

Or when asked about the conflicts between the Greek and Russian monks on Mt. Athos:

“Because of man’s infirmity, some conflicts really did occur. There are some silly Greeks, and silly Russians. As Father Ephraim said, that kind of people collide, but there is love among Russian, Serbian, Greek people and all inhabitants of Mount Athos. There is real life in Christ also.”

In that same manner, he gives a simple answer to the occurrence of miracles on Mt. Athos:

“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe. Some time ago a miracle has occurred in a Bulgarian monastery Zograf. Namely, an icon was miraculously taken by St. Martyr George to one of the monastery churches. But the greatest miracle is – the Church with Her Holy Mysteries.” Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

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Ιερα Μονή Αγίου Παντελεήμονος – The Holy Monastery of Saint Panteleimon

Η Ιερά Μονή Αγίου Παντελεήμονος. Εξωτερική άποψη. Holy Monastery of Saint Panteleimon. External view.

Η Ιερά Μονή Αγίου Παντελεήμονος. Εξωτερική άποψη. Holy Monastery of Saint Panteleimon. External view.

Ιδρύθηκε πριν το τέλος του 10ου αι. στη ορεινή θέση όπου σήμερα το λεγόμενο «Παλιομονάστηρο». Λεγόταν και Μονή «του Θεσσαλονικέως». Φαίνεται ότι από πολύ νωρίς συνηθιζόταν να μονάζουν σ΄ αυτήν και ρώσοι μοναχοί. Το 1765 άρχισε η εγκατάλειψη της παλαιάς Μονής και η ίδρυση της νέας στην παραλία. Το κύριο κτηριακό συγκρότημα οικοδομήθηκε περί τις αρχές του 19ου αι. με χρηματοδότηση του ηγεμόνα της Μολδοβλαχίας Σκαρλάτου Καλλιμάχη. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Ιερα Μονή Φιλοθέου – The Holy Monastery of Filotheou

Η Ιερά Μονή Καρακάλλου. Πανοραμική εξωτερική άποψη. Holy Monastery of Filotheou. A panorama view.

Η Ιερά Μονή Φιλοθέου. Πανοραμική εξωτερική άποψη. Holy Monastery of Filotheou. A panorama view.

Πρώτη αναφορά της Μονής γίνεται σε έγγραφο του 1013, όταν ονομαζόταν «Μονή της Πτέρης» Δύο έτη αργότερα αναφέρεται με το σημερινό όνομά της, το οποίο φαίνεται να είναι το όνομα του κτήτορα. Κατά το 16ο αι., ηγούμενος της ήταν ο άγιος Διονύσιος ο οποίος αργότερα ίδρυσε τη Μονή του Αγίου Διονυσίου στον Όλυμπο. Στη Φιλοθέου μόνασε κατά το 18ο αι. και ο πολύς, άγιος Κοσμάς ο Αιτωλός. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Ιερα Μονή Κουτλουμουσίου – The Holy Monastery of Koutloumousiou

Η Ιερά Μονή Κουτλουμουσίου. Εσωτερική άποψη από την  Πύλη της Μονής. Holy Monastery of Koutloumousiou. Internal view from the Gate of the Monastery.

Η Ιερά Μονή Κουτλουμουσίου. Εσωτερική άποψη από την Πύλη της Μονής. Holy Monastery of Koutloumousiou. Internal view from the Gate of the Monastery.

Ιδρύθηκε πριν το 1169, έτος κατά το οποίο μνημονεύεται για πρώτη φορά. Κατά δεύτερρο μισό του 14 αι., όταν ηγούμενος ήταν ο Χαρίτων ο Ίμβριος, η Μονή ενισχύθηκε πολύ και ανακαινίσθηκε με δαπάνες των μονών των παραδουνάβιων περιοχών. Αν και ο Χαρίτων έγινε μητροπολίτης Ουγγροβλαχίας το 1372, συνέχισε να ηγουμενεύει στο Κουτλουμούσι, ευεργετώντας το και ρυθμίζοντας τις σχέσεις των ελλήνων και των ρουμάνων πού μόναζαν στη Μονή. Το Καθολικόν, τιμώμενο στη Μεταμόρφωση του Σωτήρος, κτίσθηκε κατά το β΄ μισό του 14ου αι. Και τοιχογραφήθηκε έναν αιώνα αργότερα. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

Papoulakis, Saint Joachim of Vatopaidi (12)

Continuued from (11)

by the Blessed Elder Joseph οf Vatopaidi

THE TRANSLATION OF HIS RELICS

As was proper and natural, the place of Saint Joachim’s spiritual birth assumed the duty of bringing to light and honoring its saintly offspring. In 1991, the Abbot of Vatopaidi Monastery, Archimandrite Ephraim, and fathers of the Monastery went to Ithaki and, with the help of the inhabitants of the island, identified the place of the Saint’s grave. They arranged with the Metropolitan Bishop of the diocese for the translation* of the Saint’s relics on May 23 of the following year, 1992. News of this forthcoming event soon became known to the people of Ithaki, as well as to the faithful throughout all of Greece.

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Papoulakis, Saint Joachim of Vatopaidi (11)

Continued from (10)

by the Blessed Elder Joseph οf Vatopaidi

THE SAINT’S REPOSE

On March 1,1868, blessed Papoulakis was resting on his hard mat at the home of a Christ-loving man named H. Paizi Lianou in Vathy. He peacefully and calmly foretold that he was preparing for his eternal journey. Lying on his scanty mat on the floor, and now completely exhausted, he refused all food. His friend Maratos the doctor visited him and asked if there was anything that he needed or that he could do for him. The Elder replied, «There is nothing that I need; I’m getting ready to depart.» He called for the devout and virtuous priest-monk Agapios to draw near him for the last time. Having confessed, he then became silent, waiting to give over his spirit to its Maker whom he so loved and to whom he had devoted his entire life.

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Papoulakis, Saint Joachim of Vatopaidi (10)

Continued from (9)

by the Blessed Elder Joseph οf Vatopaidi

Agios Ioakeim Papoulakis

Olga Sophianou of Kionio recounts that a fellow villager of hers, an older woman named Garoupho, lived alone without any human consolation. Papoulakis felt sorry for her and would go regularly to visit her. A neighbor, however, began slandering her out of envy, saying that she was having a sinful relationship with the Saint. The woman heard these tales and became very upset, but she continued to welcome Papoulakis, without telling him anything, and also offering him food as always. The Saint received information by the grace of God, and told the old lady Garoupho, «Do not be sad. Mitsalou, who falsely accused us, will get ‘the carboni’ (i.e., bad pimple) inside the nose, and no one will be able to greet her besause it will stink». And indeed it came to pass just as the Saint had said.

***

Olga Sophianou tells us that a certain woman in Kionio violated the fast days of the Church. One Friday, as she was cooking meat, the Saint passed by her house and asked if she was cooking something. Out of shame before Papoulakis, she lied, saying that she was cooking only vegetables. The holy man instructed her, «Open the pot with the food.» She opened it and found the meat full of worms. Thus the Saint taught her in a practical way not to violate the fast.

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