Did St Gregory Palamas bring his family to Mt Athos?
Posted 14 November 2012 - 07:36 AM
Today's was about St. Gregory Palamas. The nomadic Turks (Guezz and Osmanli) had already reached Asia Minor in his lifetime and those Christians who were not willing to convert to Islam were persecuted. Most Christians converted to Islam because Christians were highly taxed whereas Muslims weren't. Same thing happened here in Greece with the Ottoman Empire.
St. Gregory and his family were forced to move. This morning I head that he, his mother, two brothers and two sisters travelled to the Holy Mountain and settled outside the Vatopaidi monastery.
My impression was that women were not allowed on the Holy Mountain.
I have tried to find more information but, without any success. Does anyone know anything more about this?
The reason I posted this on this thread is that it seems to me that we cannot be completely certain of the information available to us concerning the role of women in the Orthodox church.
Posted 15 November 2012 - 04:16 AM
Regardless, as Kusanagi points out women have been allowed on Athos depending on the situation. There's even unconfirmed rumors that Jewish men and women were allowed to hide on Athos during WW2.
Also the ban on women became effective in 1046 ad, one hundred fifty years after it's founding.
Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:15 AM
The summary of his life on the Church of Greece radio station was obviously based on facts that the Church has and that we don't.
It warms my heart to hear that this man took his whole family with him. The family stayed outside the Batopedi monastery and later, when St. Gregory became a monk, he went to Lavra Monastery, without his mother and sisters of course.
Posted 15 November 2012 - 10:56 AM
Gregory disdained everything worldly as a deceptive dream, and wishing to cleave to God, the well-spring of all wisdom, at the age of twelve resolved to take up the monastic life. He revealed his intention to his pious mother, and although she was saddened at first, she gave her consent. In time, she came to rejoice in the Lord over Gregory’s desire and decided to follow him in embracing the monastic life; moreover, with God’s help she persuaded all her other children to do likewise. Thus she could repeat the words of the prophet, “Lo, I and the children which Thou hast given me shall follow after Thee, O Lord.”
Saint Gregory, who despised with his whole heart the beautiful, sweet things of this world and earthly glory, gave his possessions to the poor, in accordance with the teaching of the Gospel, and followed after Christ, forsaking his mother, brothers, and sisters. After leaving his mother and sisters in a convent, he went with his brothers to the holy mountain of Athos where they took up their dwelling in one of the monasteries. - pp 333-334
In The Synaxarion: The Lives of the Saints of the Orthodox Church, (Hieromonk Makarios of Simonos Petra), it states:
About the year 1316, Gregory decided to abandon the vanities of the world. His mother, two sisters, two brothers and a great many of his servants entered upon the monastic life with him. He and his two brothers went on foot to the holy mountain of Athos, where they settled near the Monastery of Vatopedi under the direction of the Elder Nicodemus, who came from Mount Auxentius. - pp 133-134
In the Triodion volume of The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church (Holy Apostles Convent), it states:
Saint Gregory, taking the advice of spiritual men, decided to leave the court and his classic studies. He then gradually changed his habits and manner of outward life. After he had led a strict life, neither the emperor's offers, nor the kindness of his friends, nor the ties of kinship could make him relinquish the way of the Cross to heaven. In the year 1316, Gregory, then twenty years old, as the firstborn of his family, had inherited his father's responsibilities and property. When Gregory finally decided to become a monk, he told his devout mother Kalee about it. At first, she was rather distressed at the idea. Afterward, however, she not only agreed with his intention but also rejoiced in the Lord; and, so, she decided herself to become a nun. Further, with God's help, she even persuaded her other children to receive monasticism with her. Hence, she could say with Prophet Esaias, "Behold, I and the children whom God hath given me [Is 8:18]." Eventually, Gregory's mother, his two sisters, Epicharis and Theodote, and some handmaidens, entered convents in Constantinople. Also, several of Gregory's servants left the world and entered the monastic life. Following the commandment of the Gospel, Saint Gregory distributed all of his property among the poor. Then, taking his two brothers, Makarios and Theodosios, he repaired to Mount Athos. The brothers Palamas left Constantinople on foot in autumn of 1317. - pp 546-547.
Edited by Georgianna, 15 November 2012 - 11:52 AM.
Posted 15 November 2012 - 03:27 PM
Thank you so much for all the information you posted.
Posted 16 November 2012 - 11:11 PM
Posted 18 November 2012 - 10:40 PM
Posted 19 November 2012 - 07:40 PM
Have a blessed Birthday!
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