Saturday, September 22, 2012

Elder Porphyrios' Cell and Thermopyles

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One day, Pelagia and I had the chance to visit the monastery and cell of Elder Porphyrios, which is located approximately as the map shows above.

Here is a photo of the central church of the monastery he founded, the women's Monastery of the Transfiguration.

The elder's cell is located in an inconspicuous building and is cared for by an elderly woman, who kindly let us us. Above is a photo of his bed, with his stole laid out for veneration.

Interestingly, the elder had a parrot, which still lives in his room -- you can see him on the floor next to the red chair. Behind the chair is a needlepoint work with the verses on love from 1Corinthians 13:1-8.

In the building is a wonderful icon of the elder, which I believe was done by Fr. Stamatis Skliris.

On the way back, we stopped at Thermopylae (of the popular movie "300" fame), which is right off the highway. Read the excellent summary of this important battle in the link.

Here is where the Greek traitor Ephialtes led the Persians behind the outnumbered Greek forces. As a Greek friend pointed out when discussing the bishop's call for unity, it has always been the Greeks who defeated themselves. (See also Constantinople, 1453, when traitors let the Turks into the city walls.)

Here is a statue dedicate to King Leonidas of Sparta, above his famous words in response to the Persian king's demand for them to surrender their weapons: "Come and get them."

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