Sunday, September 01, 2013

The Cave Chapel of St. Euthymius the Younger

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The week after the Dormition, we took a few days' vacation and went to stay with our friend Angela in her country house in Vrastama.

Over the days, we visited all the parish's lovely chapels, including the cave chapel of St. Euthymius the Younger (or the New), who lived as an ascetic in the remote cave for several years, later being joined by a few disciples who lived in nearby caves. We were able to drive on dirt roads up to a point, and then it was about 25 minutes hike to the cave.

The kids did really well.

Here's Benjamin outside the cave.

And here are the kids walking up the rickety wooden stairs to go venerate inside the cave chapel.

We were fortunate to have our friends Jacob and Stephanos, Americans studying theology in Thessaloniki, join us at Angela's house. Here's Jacob and Angela's son Alexander at the analogion, where we found and sang the saint's apolytikion.

Paul took this photo of Benjamin and me in the cave.

Here's Paul making his way down the stairs from the cave.

We then walked a minute or two down toward the river, where the parish has a sort of picnic area. The parish is incredibly well organized, with different teams taking responsibility for each of the parish's chapels. The team leaders go around the village before the feast days and collect money to prepare a common festive meal at the chapel, and each chapel is outfitted with a picnic area and at least a rudimentary kitchen area. They then prepare a free meal for whoever comes to the feast.

We went over there and Angela made us all some coffee.

She had also brought some chocolatey cereal as a snack for the kids.

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