Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Parish Trip, Part 1: Monastery of Jerusalem

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On Saturday, May 25, we went on our monthly parish pilgrimage, this time about 3 hours southwest, around the area of the famous ancient city of Delphi.

We left from Portaria at 7:00 with Anastasia and the kids, leaving Pelagia to enjoy some peace and quiet for the day. After about two hours, we made a brief rest stop near Lamia, and then continued on to our first destination near Davlia, the Holy Monastery of Jerusalem, an usual name owing to the fact that its first monk and founder hailed from the Holy Land. In the mid-18th century, the monastery became a dependency of St. Catherine's on Mt. Sinai for tax relief. In 1770, during one of the failed revolution attempts, the monastery was destroyed by raiding Albanians.

In the photo above you can see Anastasia and our friend Stavroula playing with the kids just outside one of the small church's side doors.

As you can see from the photos, the monastery is surrounded by beautiful nature and lots of green. After venerating inside the church, the abbess spoke to our group -- a little about the history of the monastery, about St. Jerusalem and her three children, and some encouraging words. 

Paul wanted to ring the bells.

The nuns, of course, treated us all to some of their sweets, and then a group of us decided to hike out about 10 minutes above the monastery to the original cave/cell of the monastery's founder.

Here we are inside the small cave/cell, which also includes a small chapel, with iconography from the late 17th century, in the famous Cretan style, by Nikolaos Kallergis.

Here some of our group are taking photos in the scenic, shaded courtyard just outside the monastery walls.

After staying there from about 11:00-12:00, we got back on the bus and headed to the next monastery. Above you can see Phoebe having fun wearing her godmother's sunglasses.

And here Phoebe is looking over our the shoulder of our driver, Fr. Stavros, at the herd of goats we passed.

Stay tuned for the next monastery.

For more photos from the whole day, click here.

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