Friday, July 13, 2007

Elder Paisios and Souroti

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On Wednesday morning, we picked up Stavroula (a friend from Vancouver who lives nearby for about a month a year) and drove over to the Monastery of St Arsenios the Cappadocian in Souroti, only about 15-20 minutes away. It is a women's monastery founded by Elder Paisios in 1967, and named after his sainted spiritual father. They currently have 67 nuns.

The monastery was getting ready, because the next day, July 12, is the day of the Elder's repose (+1994), and they were having an All-Night Vigil to celebrate him. They expected thousands of people. On the last feast day the Elder himself attended, they had 5000 people!

The top photo is from the exonarthex of the temple.

The second photo is of Kh. Sophia venerating the Elder's grave. As many pilgrims do, we took some of the earth from the grave as a blessing.

The third photo is of the bells, located near the grave, and the fourth photo is of the back of the katholikon, taken from the site of the grave.

On Wednesday night, we drove out to the little village of Kato Scholari to have dinner with Gerontissa Efpraxia's family.

On Thursday morning, Fr Joseph and Kh Sophia took the bus to Bulgaria to visit some friends. They will return on Saturday evening. Fr Joseph and I leave for Mt Athos on Monday. Stay tuned for more...

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