Treasury of Orthodox shrines - Greece (part I)

Treasury of Orthodox shrines - Greece (part I)

Pilgrimage to holy places is one of the oldest traditions and an important part of the life of people who profess Orthodoxy. Since ancient times, believers have gone on a long and difficult journey to the significant shrines of Orthodoxy in order to be cleansed of sins and receive blessings. In our material you will find useful information about the state, which is called the stronghold of Orthodoxy - Greece, where the first Orthodox churches appeared and where thousands of our compatriots go every year.

The population of this wonderful country is distinguished not only by benevolence and hospitality, but also by religiosity. 98% of Greeks profess Orthodoxy and respect their brothers in faith, regardless of nationality. In the center of any settlement in Greece, there is always a temple, and the priest enjoys the boundless respect of his flock. On the territory of Greece there are a large number of churches and monasteries with priceless Orthodox relics. Pilgrims are treated here with cordiality and great love and are always ready to show the relics of the saints. After worshiping the shrines, the traveler is treated to a cup of coffee and sweets, and sometimes they can offer a glass of thyme tincture.

As you know, the most revered and beloved in this country is St. Nicholas (Sant Nicholas), whose name is almost every second Greek church. Icons depicting the saint can be seen almost everywhere, even in taverns. One of the churches of St. Nicholas, which is of interest to pilgrims, is located on the island of Ammouliani (the northwestern coast of the Athos peninsula). This temple was built in 1865 by the monks of the Vatopedi Monastery, which owned the island until 1925.

Pilgrims call Ouranoupoli the “gates of Athos”. It is from here that the ferry leaves for St. Athos, which is the only Orthodox monastic republic in the world. The fate of the Athos Peninsula was determined by a visit to the Most Holy Theotokos. According to legend, the Mother of God was invited by the Cypriot Bishop Lazar the Four Days to the island of Cyprus. During the journey, the ship, on which the Most Holy Theotokos, the Apostle John the Theologian and their companions were, was carried by a storm to the Athos Peninsula, the inhabitants of which greeted the travelers with reverence. The Mother of God declared this place a lot given to her by the Son and God, and promised to be an intercessor for all those who live on Athos and keep God's commandments. To date, there are 20 active monasteries on Athos, one of which is Russian.

Read the continuation of the topic in our next article.

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