Monday, May 7, 2012

Met. Ephrem Visits Mount Athos

Arabic original, with more information and pictures, here.

The Greek Orthodox metropolitan of Tripoli and al-Koura, Ephrem Kyriakos, visited Mount Athos in Greece for six days, at the head of a delegation of clergy and laity that included: Archimandrite Antonius el-Souri, Subdeacon Parthenios Abu Haidar, the writer Mazen Abboud, and the engineer Gaby el-Murr. They were greeted with open arms by a number of the abbots of the monasteries that they visited, taking part in liturgies and prayers , and exchanged gifts.

Metropolitan Ephrem first visited the capital of Mount Athos, where he was received by the governor of the Mountain, Elder Barnabas, with whom he discussed matters pertaining to the Mountain and the Church.

He then visited the abbot of the Monastery of Vatopedi, who had  recently been imprisoned  on account of a real-estate dispute with the Greek government after an intensification of the economic crisis in Greece. Archimandrite Ephrem, abbot of the second largest monastery on Mount Athos, received the delegation and remarkable welcome and gave Metropolitan Ephrem a crosier, thanking him for his love and support.

Metropolitan Ephrem presided at the divine liturgy at the Monastery of Saint Paul, along with the abbot of the monastery, Archimandrite Parthenios, and a group of priests and deacons. Metropolitan Ephrem thanked the abbot for his invitation and warm greeting.

Metropolitan Ephrem and the delegation likewise accepted the invitation of the Monastery of Simonopetra, Archimandrite Elisha, for them to stay at the monastery. Metropolitan Ephrem met both Metropolitan Kallistos Ware of the Greek Orthodox Church in Great Britain and the head of the Anglican Church, Rowan Williams, there at a breakfast held in their honor.

He then visited the Cell of the Resurrection, where the departed Father Isaac Atallah had practiced asceticism.

Before completing the visit, Metropolitan Ephrem participated in the liturgy at the Monastery of Xenophontos, where he was received by the abbot of the monastery, Archimandrite Alexios, on his final day on the Mountain.

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