Thursday, November 11, 2010

0040 - Holy Skete of Bogoroditsa

The Skete is located on the north eastern mountain side of Mount Athos, 1 hours walk from Pantokratoros Monastery and a half hour from the Skete of Prophet Elijah. 
It celebrates its feast day on the 15th August, The Dormition of the Theotokos, and is caled Bogoroditsa which in Bulgarian means "The one who gave birth to God".
It belongs to the Panteleimonos Monastery (Rossikon).
The Skete is built in a valley that resembles an amphitheatre on the right hand side of a ridge which originates from the north of a forested range. This range is part of its small territory, and is also the border with Pantokratoros Monastery.
The ancient Monastery of Ksilourgou existed near the location that the Skete is built, at around 700 metres above sea level. The name Ksilourgou cam from the occupation of its founder who was named Theodosios. 
In December of 1143 the Skete is bequested by decree of the Protos to Abbot Christopher and its monks were Russian. O the 15th of August 1169, The Protos of Mount Athos grants the Monastery of Thessalonikeos (current Paleomonastiron) to the Skete known then as Ksilourgou Monastery, because it had so many monks that they could no longer fit in the Monastery. In 1312, the borders between the Monastery of Ksilourgou and the Monastery of Vatopediou were drawn up. Vatopediou Monastery is a distance of 1 hour and 20 minutes away. 
In 1340 in the reign of Serbian king Stephan Dousan, Serbian monks lived in the Skete. In 1810 however, Bulgarian monks lived at the Skete. In 1818 the Skete took its current form after ceturies of being a small cell.

Toward the end of the 19th century, the Skete had 32 monks, of which the majority were Bulgarian (25) and the rest Russian. Due to the ethnic split in the brotherhood, many disputes arose especially during this period when much of Athos was being "Russianised".
Around the Skete, around 20 ancient cells, now in ruins exist due to the Sketes idiorythmic nature pre 1800. 

In the beginning of the 2oth century the new double storey building is built north of the Katholicon in the place of the old building which was demolished.
On the top floor of this building exists the most beautiful chapel of Saints Methodios and Cyrill the enlighteners of the Slavic people. 

On the same floor of the adjacent wing the guest rooms are located and direclty beneath these is the kitchen and trapeza which seats 120. 

The southern wing was built in 1847. On the east of the Skete, there are no buildings.
The Kyriako church or Katholikon is quite small and was built in the middle of the 18th century. To the east of the Katholiko, a chapel dedicated to Saint John of Rila is located.
At the Skete there once existed a Miraculous Icon of the Thotokos Glikofilousa. In an attempt to safe guard the Sketes treasures during the Greek Revolution all the treasures were sent to the Island of Psara for safe keeping. The island was destroyed as well as its Cathedral, were the Sketes treasures were stored. 
Today a copy of the miraculous Icon exists in the Katholikon next to the bishop's throne. 
Due to the many fires that the Skete was subject to, many of its original architecture no longer exists. 
The majority of the Sketes bulidings are in a bad state. The chapel of Saints Cyrill and Methodius however, is maintained well. 
Up untill recently, about 25 important slavic scrolls were kep at the Skete. They are now at Zografou Monastery for safe keeping. 
The Skete's treasures include, a small piece of the true Cross, relics of Saints Efthimios, Ignatios and Acacios of Iveron, St. John Chrysostom, Saint Panteleimonos, Saint Barbara, Saint Theoforos, Saint Iganatios, Saint Marina, St. John of the cave, St, Gregory the Theologian, Evangelist Matthew, St. Anastasios of Persia, Saints Cyrill and Methodios, St. George the new, St. Evdokimos of Vatopediou and St John of Persia amongst others. 
Today the Skete is inhabitated by very little monks.  

The photos below are from the website:

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Once again a big thank you to our friend kelliotes for the original post in Greek.


  1. Glory Be To God for All Things!

  2. Thank you for sharing, inspiring, and giving us the opportunity to grow closer to God. If you can post prayers by those of Mt. Athos, that would be beneficial.


0077 - A tribute to His Eminence Metropolitan of Kinsasa Nikiforos (Former Headmaster of Athonias Ecclesiastical Academy Mt Athos)

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