July 5, 2010

The Cell of the Honorable Cross of Papa Tychon and Elder Paisios

The following photos were taken on June 30, 2010 by ΑΓΙΟΡΕΙΤΙΚΕΣ ΜΝΗΜΕΣ. The history of the abandoned Cell of the Honorable Cross is associated with the lives of Papa Tychon and Elder Paisios who lived there in asceticism.

Elder Paisios took Papa Tychon as his spiritual father and guide in 1968 in this cell. It was Papa Tychon who tonsured Elder Paisios and gave him the Great and Angelic Schema. Papa Tychon fell asleep in the Lord on September 10 (O.C.)/23 (N.C.), 1968 and Elder Paisios remained in the Cell of the Honorable Cross until May of 1979, when he left for Panagouda.

Papa Tychon moved to Kapsala in 1924, which is at the southernmost tip of Mount Athos (above Kaliagra), to the Cell of the Honorable Cross which belonged to Stavronikita Monastery, to look after an ailing elder. When the elder died, Papa Tychon stayed there alone.

Many people flocked to Papa Tychon because of his holiness. Some asked him to be ordained, so that he could be a confessor. Papa Tychon submitted to their need, and was ordained.

There was no chapel connected to his Cell. Papa Tychon did not have money, but trusted in God. He prayed, then went to Karyes. The administrator of the Russian Skete of Prophet Elijah saw Papa Tychon and told him that a Christian in America had donated money for someone to build a chapel, and the administrator gave this to Papa Tychon.

Two monks who were builders built the chapel, which Papa Tychon dedicated to the Honorable Cross. This was done both because the Elder held the Cross in great veneration and because the day would be a fasting day and would not require him to hold a special feast.

Papa Tychon lived alone and in utter poverty, but felt himself to live with the angels, saints, the Mother of God and Christ. The floor of his cell was made with planks, but due to a lack of cleaning, over the years mud that the Elder brought in, combined with hairs from his beard, formed an effective plaster.

On May 26, 1977 Elder Paisios wrote the life of Papa Tychon, while living in Papa Tychon's Cell.

See also: The Last Days of Elder Tychon the Athonite: A Blessed Repose