786 – Athanasios the Athonite

Manuel Panselinos, after restauration.
Le baron 1918
Ο Saint Athanasios the Athonite, an old man, bald with a divided beard, is considered the founder of cenobitic monasticism on Mount Athos. Born in Trapezounta, he led the ascetic life first in Olympus of Bithynia, in the lavra of Michael Maleinos. From there he moved to Athos and in 963, with the help of the Emperor Nicephoros Phocas, he founded the oldest monastery of the Mountain, Megisti Lavra. As Eustratiades mentions, “during the construction of the apse of the sacred bema of the church, ascending to oversee the completed works with six of his disciples, the apse collapsed within the church so that he and his disciples were thrown down, and he met with a tragic death inside the church, where his tomb is.”
Text by Eikastikon

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