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Mount Athos

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Published on Jul 17, 2013

Mount Athos or Agion Oros, as it is locally known, is the oldest surviving monastic community in the world. It dates back more than a thousand years, to Byzantine times. It is a unique monastic republic, which, although part of Greece, it is governed by its own local administration. Because of its isolation Mount Athos has remained one of the most unspoiled parts of Greece. It is a land where myth is entwined with history, miracles mingle with reality. Savage mountain scenery reflecting on the dark blue sea create that essential framework of isolation in a peaceful, solitary world, chosen by the hermits for their monastic state.

From the moment the man is ordained as a monk his entire life is dedicated to the quest of reaching for god, a life of continuous prayer and contemplation. He has now died to the outside world and has been re-born into the holy world of Mount Athos. He gives up his past life, his name, his status and property. He takes up the name of one of the saints with the same initial as his original name. Instead of a surname he uses the name of the monastery where he lives. All monasteries are now Coenoveatic (communal) so he is given a sparse room and habits to wear. He is also appointed to a particular job, when he is not in church.

Pater Filotheos is an extraordinary carpenter and through his devotion to God he crafts the wooden body of the monastery, templates, windows, ladders, artctrafts, dooms, doors, tables anything you can imagine, and it can be made from wood. Through his craftwork he had found a channel that connects him with his faith to God and he transmits this wooden to the rest of us.

soon the english sub

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