1766 – Young boys on the Mountain

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It is probably of all ages that fathers bring their sons to the Holy Mountain. Tenth-century regulations for the Lavra and for Athos in general forbid the entrance for ” beardless men”. But the Gospel said: “Let the children come to me,” so children appear quite regularly within the boundaries of the Holy Mountain. I have a feeling that there are more children visting Athos with their fathers then in past years.
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Nowadays (sept. 2015) the youngsters are even dressed like monks. This boy is enjoying his soft drink waiting for the ferry at Dafni. In the right hand corner a boy is looking in the direction of the camera.
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This boy peers over sea also fully dressed up. It seemed that they had no problem with their outfit. They got a lot of attention from the religious men.   4

I didn’t see children in religious clothing before on my trips to Mount Athos. It seems like a new trend. I got the impression that most of these children were Russian.
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These two boys took the boat to the arsanas of Sografou.

Herman Voogd (here with son in winter)

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4 Responses to 1766 – Young boys on the Mountain

  1. I hope to be taking my son there with me in the next year…
    + + +

  2. alex says:

    Unfortunately, little children on Mount Athos is indeed a new trend ( as well as making photographs during services ). Mount Athos has always been a place of prayer, but children bring a lot of bustle. Vatopedi monastery while sending invitations still points out that children under the age of 15 are not allowed in the monastery, but in fact they don’t keep this rule anymore.
    The only monastery I can think of that still keeps this rule is Xiropotamou ( I have never seen kids there ).

  3. Vasílis says:

    I agree with You, Alex, but monks don’t have a task in maintaining rules (for pilgrims), I think. They expect pilgrims to behave properly and not like tourists, as some (a lot of?) do nowadays. And that might cause problems. Unfortunedly the tourists seem to be growing in number.

  4. alex says:

    Vasili, Ι don’t think that fathers of past centuries had less love or something. They just wanted to point out what is useful and what is harmful for the life of monks. Someone tries to follow these “recommendations”, someone doesn’t . That’s it.

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