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Secrets of monastic diet

Secrets of monastic diet

The monastic diet is not only what we call the Mediterranean diet. It is much more. It is that monks still eat in the traditional way. Μonks do not breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the monastery there is morning and evening ''trapeza''(dinner). Two meals a day, just with regular breaks. Meals lasting about twenty minutes, without noises and discussions, as the the Athonite monk Epiphanius Mylopotaminos says.

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ORTHODOX FASTING

ORTHODOX FASTING

Fasting is an essential aspect of practicing the Orthodox life. You cannot be Orthodox and not fast. Unfortunately, many in the Church today do not participate in this grace-bestowing and life-giving ascetic practice. They do this to the loss of their own spiritual and bodily health.

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Devotional lamp, candle, incense, What is their meaning and their symbolism?

Devotional lamp, candle, incense, What is their meaning and their symbolism?

The word candle comes from the Latin word candela = candle. In the Christian Church, the candle is put in front of the sacred icon. The one located in front of the Crucified , in the sanctuary, is always kept alight and that is why it is called the  “ vigilant” candle. A candle is also put in the house’s reredos and according to the tradition it is lighted every day. It is a habit that maintains its deep Christian symbolism with the Light of Christ which enlightens every man , warms the hope, consoles and keeps company to our endless hours of loneliness.  The lightning of the candle symbolizes that this is an offer as a sacrifice of respect and honor to the God and his Saints. It symbolizes the Christ’s light which enlightens every man but it also symbolizes the well  known Lord’s order to be Christians , the lights of the world.

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Why the Supper of Holy Thursday, called'' Secret''?

Why the Supper of Holy Thursday, called'' Secret''?

The word secret (mystikos) is produced by the "secret" (mystis in greek) and this from "initiate". So the Last Supperhe was not secret and in isolation, but to reveal, show and teach the twelve disciples the Lord, that the mystery of the cross sacrifice has already taken place.

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MOUNT ATHOS HISTORY

MOUNT ATHOS HISTORY

The peninsula of the Holy Mountain (HM), the north-eastern ‘finger’ of the gigantic ‘palm’ of myth of Chalcidice, which juts out more than 60 km. into the Aegean Sea, occupies an area of 332.5 sq. km. Its terrain can be described as irregular, consisting of rows of hills which start out from Megali Vigla side by side in the direction of Athos to culminate at the end of the peninsula in the legendary stone giant of Athos, of a height of 2,035 m. The land is well-planted, without being particularly rich soil. It has become rich, however, in the gardens of the settlements, where centuries of the toil of monks have produced a soil which is fruitful because of a natural fertiliser - leaf mould - brought from the woods. Before its monastic community was established, the peninsula was the home of tribes "speaking two languages", "a few Chalcidic, for the most part Pelasgic". Their communities were no more than "small towns", with few inhabitants and of little historical significance (Thucydides IV, 109 - Strabo VII, 35). The names of some of the towns within the boundaries of the peninsula are known to us: "Dion, Olophyxos, Acrothoon, Thyssos, Cleonae" (Herodotus VII, 22). Beyond the peninsula were the towns of Panormos, Stratonice, Acanthos, Singos, Apollonia, Stagira, Amphipolis, Galepsos, Olynthos, Assa, Pylorus, Sarte, Torone, Potidaea, Ouranoupolis, etc. (Claudius Ptolemaeus, Geogr., 13, 11 - Herodotus VII, 122 - Strabo VII, 35 - Stephen of Byzantine, ed. Meineke, 6.65, 135, 229, 523, 557, 685).

The history of Athos is associated with the sinking of two fleets. The first took place in 492 BC, when the Persian general Mardonius mounted a campaign against Athens and Eretria. His 300 ships, with 20,000 foot soldiers, sank on the rocks of Nymphaeum. In 411 BC, 50 Spartan ships, under their admiral Epicleus, also sank (Diodorus Siculus, XIII 41, 1-3). The colonisation of Athos began in very ancient times and is lost in the mists of prehistory. The first settlers we hear of were the Pelasgians from Lemnos (Strabo VII 35). After the end of the Trojan War, around 1150 BC, large areas extending from Troy as far as Chalcidice were deserted and uninhabited. It was at that time that two dynamic cities of Euboea, Eretria and Chalcis, together with Andros, colonised Chalcidice, naturally including Athos (Thucydides IV 109 - Strabo X 8, VIII 31 - Stephen of Byzantium, ed. Meineke, p. 685). One great achievement in antiquity which certainly should be mentioned is the completion in 481 of the digging of a canal across the peninsula by Xerxes. The work had taken three years (Herodotus VII 22 - Strabo VII 35 - Aelius Aristides, Panathenaeicus, 120-122 and 126-128).

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The administration of Mount Athos

The administration of Mount Athos

The administration of the Holy Mountain throughout its centuries-long history, from the time when monastic life there was officially organised by the issuing of the Typikon of the Byzantine Emperor John Tsimiskes in 972 down to the
present, has always been governed by a sui generis political and ecclesiastical arrangement. This can be seen very clearly from imperial chrysobulls (decrees) and ‘Typika’, Patriarchal sigillia (documents), the firmans of Sultans, the ‘General Regulations’ of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and subsequent legislation. Today, by virtue of the Treaty of Suvres of 10 August 1920, which was ratified by the Treaty of Lausanne of 24 July 1923, the Holy Mountain is under the sovereignty of Greece and is administered in accordance with the express provisions of :

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Feasts of the Mount Athos Holy Monasteries

Feasts of the Mount Athos Holy Monasteries

Feast is the annual celebration gathering of an Athonite lodge.

Feasts organized by the Mount Athos monasteries - sketes and celles without exception , on the day of memory of the saint to whom the church is dedicated to.

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HOLY BREAD PROSPHORA SEAL

HOLY BREAD PROSPHORA SEAL

What is the Prosphoron and what are the symbolisms reflected on it with the holy bread seal ?

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