Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

The Monks on Mt. Athos struggle to protect the Holy Mountain over the centuries


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Anthony G. Peggs

Anthony G. Peggs

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 55 posts

Posted 20 July 2010 - 06:31 PM

hello all,

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?

thank you,

anthony

#2 Anthony G. Peggs

Anthony G. Peggs

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 55 posts

Posted 20 July 2010 - 06:34 PM

again, i'm not trying to be blasphemous in ANY way, forgive me please if thats how it came off.

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.

#3 Jeremy Troy

Jeremy Troy

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 175 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 20 July 2010 - 09:08 PM

Anthony,

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.

Jeremy

#4 Herman Blaydoe

Herman Blaydoe

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 4,157 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 20 July 2010 - 09:48 PM

They tried to work things out peacefully. They no doubt dealt similarly with the Ottoman Empire. They don't have a standing army and probably would otherwise have been ransacked. What else might they have done, in your opinion? Thumbed their noses at the Nazis? Fortified the Holy Mountain? What other options do you think they had?

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

#5 Rick H.

Rick H.

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,231 posts
  • Orthodox Christian Member

Posted 20 July 2010 - 09:52 PM

Even though out of context, the verse about being wise as serpents but harmless as doves comes to mind.

#6 Anthony G. Peggs

Anthony G. Peggs

    Regular Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 55 posts

Posted 20 July 2010 - 11:52 PM

i pretty much had the same opinions and feelings as the rest of you. i totally see what you're saying Herman, and i fully agree. forgive me please. i just really wanted some other opinions. again, forgive me, i wasn't trying to be blasphemous or any such thing toward The Holy Mountain. thank you very much for your reply's.

#7 Michael Stickles

Michael Stickles

    Moderator

  • Moderators
  • 1,438 posts

Posted 21 July 2010 - 03:01 AM

Reading about the kinds of political maneuvering the monks have had to occasionally engage in reminded me of Paul being brought before the Sanhedrin. He kind of "set them up", claiming that he was on trial because of his hope in the resurrection and by that setting the Pharisees and the Saducees against each other.

#8 Kosta

Kosta

    Very Frequent Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,516 posts

Posted 21 July 2010 - 06:01 AM

A diplomatic solution is the best solution especially in a place without armies. Thats why Mt Athos is the longest surviving semi-autonomous republic in world history.

#9 Georgios Stavronikitianos

Georgios Stavronikitianos

    Junior Poster

  • Members
  • 4 posts

Posted 03 August 2010 - 06:48 AM

Greetings All,

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............




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users