November 5, 2010

King George II's Encounter With An Athonite Monk

The following story was taken from the video lecture here:

George II, King of the Hellenes, ruled Greece from 1922 to 1924 and from 1935 to 1947. When he once visited the Holy Mountain of Athos, he entered Grigoriou Monastery where the monks joyfully received him in the traditional fashion - by presenting him with the holy relics of the monastery in order for their guest to receive a blessing by "greeting" and venerating the Saints.

When the holy relics were brought forward, the monks opened them for the King to venerate. Repulsed, the King said: "What are these bones?"

Then an Athonite monk boldly rebuked the King, responding: "Listen, my King, you and I have bones. These are holy relics. Bend down and venerate."

"I apologize", said the King. He did his cross and venerated.