After arriving on Athos September 23th 2013 we tried to have a meal in one of the most beautiful trapeza’s on the Holy Mountain, the Vatopedi refectory. Unfortunately the trapeza was already full with pilgrims, so we were asked to move to the building beside the trapeza, the docheio of food cellar, building M/O2 on the plan below (building O1 is the trapeza).
While having a wonderfull meal I noticed that we were sitting next to large marble stones with inscriptions in Greek:
Here in detail the words: Egeneto …(came to pass?) and Batopaidio….(Vatopedi)
On the far end of the room there was another stone with inscription. Here the stone is covered with a timber lid.
Here the text in detail (I tried to sharpen the letters):
What is the purpose of these objects? Because they are found in the food cellar (nowadays with a small kitchen and dining tables), might it be used for storage of food supplies? Does the texts say something about the useage? Are they from the Byzantine era or from the classical/pre-christian time?
They were and are still used for storing olive oil.
There’s a specific miracle linked to the this building and the oil supply: next time you go to Vatopedi, ask father Irenaios, hieromonk (who does a special service in that building every day in front of a small icon on the wall behind where you stood when you took the picture of your friends dining), and he’ll happily tell you the whole story !
“In this building the small, miracle-working Byzantine icon of Our Lady Elaiovrytissa is kept. Also in the storeroom are two marble sarcophagi, today used to hold oil, one with an inscription with the name of Dionysius and the other, dating from 321 AD, with that of Germanus Heraclas.”