Monday, September 11, 2006

The Holy Mountain, Pt 7: Skete of Prophet Elias


Our next stop was the Skete of Prophet Elias (Elijah), a dependency of Pantokrator. Although it is technically a skete, it is enormous. Originally, it was a Russian skete, as you can probably tell from the photos. I didn't know this at the time, but our neighbor, James Lilly, told us there was some controversy at this skete back in 1992 -- some American monks (surprise, surprise!) were actually evicted.


Anyway, it is an absolutely beautiful katholikon. It is the second largest temple on the Holy Mountain, after only St. Panteleimon's (the Russian monastery). It can hold 2000 people; there are currently 10 Greek monks at the monastery.


The top photo is taken from the road. The middle photo is of Fr. Alexios as we walked into the monastery. The bottom photo is of the gigantic iconostasis.

3 comments:

Aaron Taylor said...

I actually know one of the monks who was evicted (he lives near Athens now). The Patriarch attempted to depose Elder Joseph of Xeropotamou for speaking out in defense of the monks.

mwoerl said...

The eviction was at gunpoint, the monks given 15 minutes to "gather belongings," were put on a boat, and dropped in Ouranopolis. They were legally registered as monks, names all in the Monakhologion of their ruling monastery,Pantokrator, and supposedly Greek citizens, as mandated by Greece, and as recognized by several international treaties. Just one more incident in a long list of the activities of the Phanar concerning "freedom of belief," which the Patriarch seems to make speeches on quite frequently, and the Patriarchate seems to have violated quite frequently, especially on Athos ...

mwoerl said...

We visited Prophet ELias Skete in 1992, a few months before this lamentable action. And-why would "American monks" bring such a reply? In fact, they were not all American ... Archimandrite Seraphim (Bobich) and Hieromonk Ioanniky were American ... Father Nicholas, and another Hieromonk were Russian, and there was riassophore monk from somewhere in the Caribbean ...