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June 3, 2011

The Feast of the Ascension and Esphigmenou Monastery

June 2, 2011

"They shall see Him whom they have pierced." With these words Metropolitan Joseph of Prokonnessos began his festal homily at the Holy Community of Mount Athos for the feast of the Holy Ascension of our Lord, celebrated by the fathers of the new brotherhood of Esphigmenou Monastery, who, as is well known, are located temporarily at the Administration Center of Karyes. With these words the Metropolitan was referring to the well known problem of Esphigmenou Monastery, criticizing the negligence of those responsible. He extended to the new brotherhood the prayers of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who prays that next year the fathers of the Monastery will celebrate the feast of the Holy Ascension in the Katholikon of the Monastery.

It should be noted that Esphigmenou Monastery celebrates its feast on Ascension day, and it is the only place on Mount Athos which celebrates on this day. For this reason there is such a great turnout of fathers from throughout Mount Athos, as well as pilgrims from the world.

Unfortunately this year the space was cramped as the festal services took place in the small chapel of the Administration Center of the Monastery in Karyes, since the Monastery today is held illegally by sectarian monks, despite the determination of the Church and the Judiciary.

More photos at