Patriarch Kirill arrives in Russian Monastery of St Panteleimon on Athos
On May 27, 2016, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia arrived in the Russian Monastery of St Panteleimon on Athos.
At the holy gates, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church was welcomed by the abbot of the monastery, Schema-Archimandrite Jeremiah (Alyokhin), and the monastic community.
To the sound of the bells, His Holiness and the brethren proceeded to the church of the Holy Protomartyr and Healer Panteleimon, in which His Holiness venerated the reliquary with the healing head of St. Panteleimon and celebrated a thanksgiving.
Among the worshippers were Metropolitan Apostolos of Mileta, representative of the Ecumenical Patriarch on Mount Athos, Mr. A. Beglov, presidential representative in Central Russia and head of the presidential working group for preparing the celebrations marking the millennium of the Russian presence on Athos, Schema-Archimandrite Iliy (Nozdrin), the official delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church and benefactors of the monastery.
After the thanksgiving, Father Jeremiah greeted His Holiness.
The Primate of the Russian Church addressed himself to the congregation with a homily.
The St. Panteleimon Monastery is situated on the shore of a small bay on the southwestern slope of Athos between the Daphni wharf and the Xenophontos Monastery.
The first Russian monastery on Athos was founded under St. Vladimir Equal-to-the-Apostles. In the second half of the 12th century, due to its growth the monastic community had to move to the Upland Roussikon, and in the end of the 18th century the monks resettled to a monastery with a church of the Holy Ascension at the place where today’s Monastery of St. Panteleimon is situated.
In the 18th century, the monastery went on to the Greeks. Russian monks began returning to the monastery in the 30s of the 19th century. The monastery blossomed in the end of the 19th – the beginning of the 20th century. In 1912, the number of brethren amounted to 1800. After the 1917 Revolution, due to the break of relations with Russia and systematic ousting of Russians from Mount Athos, the number of brethren began radically to decrease. In the end of the 1960s, there were only seven elderly monks left in the monastery. At present there are 106 monks and novices.
The monastery library contains over 20 thousand volumes and manuscripts.
Patriarchal Press Service
DECR Communication Service
Photos by Father Igor Palkin