Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Planting of a Monastery (chapter 5)
Mount Athos (click on photo to enlarge)
The Holy Mountain

In May of 1989, a little over a year after moving to Vashon Island, my friend Father Basil Rhodes took me on a month’s journey to Greece. We spent time in Athens and Thessaloniki, before heading for our ten day stay on the Holy Mountain of Athos. This was my first journey to an Orthodox country, and it was to be a life changing experience. I fell in love with Greece, the Greek people, and Greek food!

Father Basil had a good friend, Christos, who owned and operated a small ecclesiastic supply store near the Metropolitan Cathedral in Athens. We stayed in the Theoxenia, meaning "God's strangers", a simple, spartan, but very clean little hotel, run by pious people. With Icons in every room, and spiritual literature to read, it was located one block from Omonia Square. We walked each day for coffee and a visit with Christos, using his store as our starting point for the exploration of the ancient city. It was in a small shop that I purchased a large icon of Saint Nektarios of Aegina, which is now venerated in our monastery’s temple.

Our journey to the Holy Mountain began after a flight from Athens to Thessaloniki, and a long drive by bus to the picturesque village of Ouranoupolis. We boarded the boat that would take us to Daphne, and from this port of entry we traveled by bus to the center of the peninsula, where we entered the ancient town of Karyes, the capital of the monastic republic.

Entrance to Mount Athos is based on rules promulgated by Emperor Constantine Monomachos in 1060, and include the proviso that only males can set foot on the Holy Mountain. Visiting overnight is forbidden except for males over the age of eighteen, and who have been approved for valid religious or scientific interests. Visas are required and are issued by the Directorate of Churches of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens and by the Directorate of Civil Affairs of the Ministry of Northern Greece in Thessalonika. Visits by Orthodox Christians are limited to one hundred and twenty per day, with a maximum three day stay. 

Those males with explicit invitations from any of the monasteries are not included in the limit, and since Father Basil is the spiritual son of Archimandrite George, abbot of Gregoriou Monastery, we received a blessing to remain on the Holy Mountain for ten days. These rules are designed to preserve the solitude and silence of Mount Athos.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Tuesday October 16, 2012 / October 3, 2012
20th Week after Pentecost. Tone two.

Hieromartyr Dionysius (Dennys) the Areopagite, and with him Martyrs Rusticus and Eleutherius (96).
New Martyr Agathangel, metropolitan of Yaroslavl (1928).
Finding of the relics (1988) of Venerable Ambrose of Optina (1911).
St. Jerome of Aegina (1966).
Venerable Dionysius, recluse of the Kiev Caves (15th c.).
Venerable John the Chozebite, bishop of Caesarea in Palestine (532).
Blessed Hesychius the Silent of Mt. Horeb (6thc.).
Hieromartyr Dionysius, archbishop of Alexandria and eight martyrs with him (257-8).
St. Leger of Autun (679) (Gaul).
Hieromartyrs Hewald the White and Hewald the Black, at Cologne.
Martyr Theoctistus (Greek).
Martyr Theagenes (Greek).

You can read the life of the saint in green, by click on the name.

THANK YOU, to all of you who have been able to contribute towards the support of the monastery. These difficult times of economic hardship have impacted the monastery, and those of you who have been able to donate, have been our lifeline. May God bless you for your generosity, and kindness.
With love in Christ,  
Abbot Tryphon

Donations can be made directly to the monastery through PayPal, or you may send donations to:

All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
PO Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA

Philippians 2:17-23

17 Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me.

Timothy Commended

19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. 20 For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. 21 For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. 22 But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel. 23 Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see how it goes with me.

Luke 6:37-45

Do Not Judge

37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
39 And He spoke a parable to them: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the ditch? 40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher. 41 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the plank in your own eye? 42 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye.

A Tree Is Known by Its Fruit

43 “For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

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