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The monastery of St. Arsenios

Located between the first and second finger of Halkidiki,  the Monastery of Saint Arsenios is a destination for everyone. In the mountains of the resort Vatopedi this wonderful Greek Orthodox monastery is located and offers much more than just an incredible view of the Gulf of Toroneos and Cassandra.

Approx. 90 km from Thessaloniki, in the mountains of Vatopedi, lies the Monastery of St. Arsenios of Cappadocia. Before anything is mentioned about the monastery, one must learn about the namesake saint and more.

He was born approximately 1840 in Farassa Cappadocia. The parents had, except him another son named Vlassios, and his name was Theodore (Gift of God), then later Arsenios. In his early years the two brothers lost their parents. Theodore chose the monastic life for his future and joined at the age of 26 years the monastery of Prodromos Flavio. He was said to have great mental skills that enabled him to relieve the emotional pain of his confreres, but also of the worldly through his words.

He is said to have helped women, who were infertile, by his blessing to offspring. He had also great influence on the recovery of the sick and mentally disturbed people. He never accepted money and lived only with tangible donations. Holy Arsenios died on 10 November 1924 on Mount Athos.

The Monastery of Saint Arsenios is a great tourist destination. Both the building, and especially the church is more than worth seeing. It is important to pay attention to the dress regulations. But normally the monks have also makeshift clothing, for the emergency.

The opening times are daily from 04.00 clock in the morning until 14.00 clock. During a trip to the monastery on the same day you can also visit the convent in Ormilia. It is located about 5 km away.

Read the testimonial of a visitor:

What are visitors or pilgrims who visit a monastery on Mount Athos looking for, who in some cases take upon themselfs long marches and hardships? These people will probably answer love, comfort, peace or just a reference to God.

Is the question what is a person looking for, who opts for the monastic life as a monk not much more important?

We have also discussed this issue many times and each time we had answers that may be correct or partly correct. Did we actually expect to be able to answer these questions just like that? Perhaps the abbot of one of the monasteries on Mount Athos can bring us nearer to the answer with his words:

The monastic life is the attempt of the believer and the desire of people to live freely, to live happy and to go his way with God. It is the way to God. The more we live with the Holy Spirit, seeking Him, the more we are monks.

A deep mystery is the life of the monks behind the monastery walls, upon which the pilgrims have only the grace to take a short look and feel the Lord.

If you meet the monks and look into their always friendly faces, you realize the power that they radiate. It is like a light in the dark, which gives us pilgrims strength and consolation.

We will never get an insight into the entire monasticism, but after a visit to Mount Athos, we will be closer to the Lord and the strength of these monks will brighten our lives, and perhaps let us recognize the good things in life.

A visit to the monasteries gives us a sense of the unchangeable, eternal love, such a trip will leave its mark indelibly and write its text in our book of life. This is the gift of the monks to us seculars on our search for the Lord.

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