The Monks on Mt. Athos struggle to protect the Holy Mountain over the centuries
Posted 20 July 2010 - 06:31 PM
Christ is in our midst!
i just started reading the Mountain of Silence by Kyriacos C. Markiedes. so far it's pretty good. however, he mentions that over the centuries the monks of Mt. Athos and especially the Protos of Mt. Athos have had much struggle to protect the silence and peace of The Holy Mountain from intrusions by the turks, the nazi's, and others for centuries.
he mentions that with the turks, the protos of Mt. Athos had taken with him one delegate from every monastery and had asked the turks to not bother the Holy Mountain and that they had pledged loyalty to their rule or something like that, in order to protect The Holy Mountain.
and also a letter was sent to hitler to keep Mt. Athos under his protection so it wouldn't be bothered.
i, in no way doubt that Mount Athos is rightly called The HOLY Mountain, and that it Truly IS The Garden of The Most Holy Theotokos.
however, i was wondering how to view those things that i just mentioned. i was a little troubled when i read them.
can anyone offer some insight or answers to this?
Posted 20 July 2010 - 06:34 PM
i must, however, also mention that, in the book, he also states that during the reign of nazi germany, the monks had hid a number of greek jewish women, and i think also children, on the Holy Mountain to keep them safe, and that this was the ONLY time that women were allowed on the Holy Mountain, and never since.
Posted 20 July 2010 - 09:08 PM
I remember hearing that, at the time that the letter was sent to Hitler, it was not yet clear that he was as bad as he turned out to be. The Holocaust had either not begun or was not widely known yet.
We must also remember that monks are human beings, and as such are prone to make errors in judgment. They are, like those laymen who do not live monastically, sinners who are in desperate need of grace. This in no way diminishes the holiness of Mt. Athos or of the monastic calling.
Posted 20 July 2010 - 09:48 PM
On the grounds at St. Catherine's Monastery on Mt. Sinai, there is a mosque, though I doubt it sees much use. Sometimes you bend so as not to break.
Or so it seems to this bear of little brain.
Herman the Pooh
Posted 20 July 2010 - 11:52 PM
Posted 21 July 2010 - 03:01 AM
Posted 03 August 2010 - 06:48 AM
All religious institutions were granted freedom under Ottoman rule, however, it came at a price. The effects of the taxes each of the Holy Monasteries on Mount Athos paid in order to enjoy this "freedom" were still visible in the early 90's in the Greek Monasteries, such as Vatopedi, Iveron, Lavra to name a few. We are now starting to see an anagennesis on the Holy Mountain of these once great Monasteries.
In relation to the mosque inside St. Catherine's Monastery at Sinai, this was an act of preservation by the then Abbot of the monastery. It was custom especially amongst monasteries in the middle east that when they were threatened by the Arabs or Ottomans, they would convert their trapeza into a mosque in order for the monastery to avoid a certain destruction. This was exactly what happened at St. Catherines.
In the case of Nazi's, much has been said and inferred, however, it was a matter of preserving a wealth of religious tradition culture and heritage for future generations. One can just imagine if the monks of Mount Athos declared war (so to speak) against the Nazi's what would have been left of the monasteries............
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