1858 – Death in the Serail

The Russian period in the Serail ended in a sad way because there came no fresh blood from the Soviet Union. It is described in various posts in the blog, for instance here.The tomb of the founder of the skete: Hegumen Hieromonachos Bessarion can be found opposite the katholikon. Bessarion was one of the two Russian monks who got permission from Vatopediou to live in the cell, that would become Andreou. The other monk was Barsanouphios. We missed his grave.

 

In the grave yard at the back of the main church, close to the guest quarters, high above us archangel Gabriel blows his trumpet.This marble tomb from 1902 has skull with remarkable upper teeth.This hieromonk lived 79 years. He died on the 4th of march in 2017. Graves on Athos are mostly kept for two years. After that period the bones and skull are brought to an ossuary. Raymond Geldermans took pictures of the Andreou ossuary in the seventies and eighties of the last century. As an innovation the monks have put a picture of the deceased on the cross.Just below the graveyard there is a soccer field for the beardless boys who attend the Athonian Academy, which is situated in this skete.On the other site of the complex restauration works make progression. We look down on a peculiar building, in the old chapel. Earlier Wim showed the inside, when the restauration was still in full swing.

Bas Kamps

 

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