07 June 2013, 14:16
Patriarch Kirill plans to preside over
celebrations of 1,000 years of Russian presence on Mount Athos in 2016
Athos, June 7, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All
Russia has proposed rebuilding the Ksilurgu Monastery, the oldest Russian
monastery on Mount Athos in Greece, by 2016, when the 1,000 years of the Russian
presence on Mount Athos will be celebrated.
"In three years, we will
celebrate the 1,000 years of the Russian presence on the Holy Mount Athos," the
patriarch said in Ksilurgu, addressing monks.
"This place has been
playing a special role," he said.
Large-scale efforts are currently under
way to restore the Saint Panteleimon Monastery and the Old Russik Monastery on
Mount Athos, he said.
"But our task is also to fully rebuild Ksilurgu as
soon as possible as our first monastery, which would enable us to welcome the
1,000 years of the Russian monastic presence on Athos in this holy place. The
restoration of this monastery would confirm our gratitude to all of the monks
who have maintained the eternal flame of the Russian monastic traditions here
for a thousand years," Patriarch Kirill said.
Russian pilgrims have
special feelings toward Ksilurgu, he said.
"I believe that as restoration
efforts progress further, more and more people will come and seek spiritual
solace there," he said.
The first Russian monastery on Mount Athos was
founded during the rule of Holy Prince Vladimir. The earliest written mention of
it dates back to February 1016.
The Russian monastic community on Mount
Athos reached its height in the second half of the 19th century. More than 4,000
monks from Russia lived in the Saint Panteleimon Monastery, the Saint Andrew,
the Saint Elijah Monastery and other places on Mount Athos at the beginning of
the 20th century. From the 16th century to the 19th century, the Russian
monasteries on Mount Athos owned 100 different buildings, including five
churches, a refectory, a hospital and a pier.
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