Monday morning, before dawn broke, the pilgrims attended services at the Church of St. Demitrius at the Xenaphon Monastery. Following the celebrations of Matins and the Divine Liturgy the monks sang a Canon to the Church’s patronal Saint. With a light breakfast in their stomachs the six travelers set out for Elder Eugene’s Skete not far from the main monastery. When they had arrived they were blessed to sing a brief molebin and then sat down for tea and light refreshments. The Skete houses ten brothers, and their kindness and generosity toward the pilgrims was truly remarkable. They were gifted with not only nourishment for their bodies but also with wise and grace-filled words of wisdom from Elder Eugene. He spoke at length regarding his experiences with America and his deep love for St. John of San Francisco and Shanghai.

Returning to the monastery, the pilgrims packed their belongings and set out via boat for their final destination on the Holy Mountain, the Dokhiari Monastery. Upon arrival they once again venerated the icon of the Theotokos “Who is Quick to Hear”, we’re settled into their cell, and then set out on a hike along the coast of the Holy Mountain. Father Nazari had arranged with his friend Protodeacon Alexander to ask Elder Gregorius for his blessing to help the monks in their harvesting of olives. When they had received the Elder’s blessing the six set to work plucking ripe olives from the trees. After this labor they approached the Elder and personally received his blessing to serve the Divine Liturgy the following day in English and Slavonic. To thank the Abbot they sang “Many Years” and the Cherubic Hymn to him in English. He was very pleased with the beautiful singing. Following this they were swifted back to the monastery by Protodeacon Alexander where they attended Vespers. Following this they were treated to a screening of the forthcoming film “Where are you Adam?” about life in Athonite monastic life in Dokhiari. After a long day our six travelers settled down for their final evening on the Holy Mountain. 

 

(written by Subdeacon Peter Winsky)

 

Please see more photos following the link: 56-mount-athos-2017.html