Monastery Agiou Pavlou is situated in the west foot of Athos, 20 min from the sea and is dedicated in the Presentation of Christ to the temple.
The monastery was destroyed many times by various causes, and its buildings belong to different periods. The Katholicon was built shortly before the mid 10th c. The monastery has 12 chapels, the most important of which is that of St George, with frescoes of the Cretan School (1555).
The monastery also possesses the Nea Skete and the Skete of St Demetrius. The monastery is mentioned for the first time, in the mid 10th c., mostly its founder Pavlos Xeropotaminos, and then in 1259. After the Catalan raids, it is degraded into a kellion, only to become a monastery again in the 3rd quarter of the 14th c. In the 15th c. it is financially supported by Serbians rulers and after the fall of Byzantium, by rulers of eastern Europe.
Among the monastery’s possessions, are counted portable icons, heirlooms, holy relics and liturgical vessels. The library contains 494 manuscripts and about 12,500 books. The monastery is inhabited by a brotherhood of 30 monks.
Photos sent from St. Arsenios’ Monastery (Vatopedi, Chalkidiki) pilgrims; Gerondas Theoklitos is presiding at the Church services.
Blessed New Year 2019! May He who is the Alpha and Omega Christ our True God grant us every strength and all virtues necessary for our salvation in this year of His grace 2019. May we honour our calling and chosen way as Christians. Soon, I will start uploading lots of stories and photographs from a recent pilgrimage to Euboia.
My dear sister K.,
Every year, though the cycle of the liturgical seasons in the Church, I am discovering new levels of meaning in festal icons. Here is what I have recently come upon about the Nativity icon: “Like most festal icons, the Nativity icon is not only the image of an event that happened two thousands years ago, but rather by its form and the hierarchy of its elements, shows us the inner working of how the Divine Logos is Him by whom at things were made. The icon also shows us how His incarnation acts as the anchor, the fulcrum around which all manifestation holds together. Christ unites the highest: angels, star, with the lowest which are the animals and a cave. He brings together the far and wise, the wisemen, to the near and simple, the shepherds. All of this is an image of how the Divine Logos holds the world together. By its reference to death, to the entry into the cave, the nativity icon links it imagery to other icons in which Christ is underground, such as the icon of Theophany and the Anastasis.” (Jonathan Pageau)
For more about The Nativity Icon as an Image of Reality go here
For The Ass and The Ox in The Nativity Icon go here
For The Cave in the Nativity icon go here
PS. Please share with me more analysis of the Nativity icon