July 4, 2011

Divine Liturgy At the Holy Mountain of Varasova

The holy mountain of Varasova is known as the Mount Athos of Western Greece. Great churches and monasteries were founded at the foot of Varasova during Byzantine times, as well as in the regions of Aitolia and Akarnania. However, in search of greater austerity and seclusion, many monks and ascetics left the big monasteries and entered the craggy caves of Varasova. Among these caves, the most important is that which is dedicated to Saint Nicholas in southern Varasova, which is unique in all Greece. Ascetics lived here from the 9th-19th century, according to discoveries made by Athanasios Paliouras, professor at the University of Ioannina.

Every summer on June 2nd a pilgrimage and Divine Liturgy are organized at St. Nicholas of Varasova with the help of the fishermen of Kato Vasilikis who bring the pilgrims to the cave.

In the first two videos below one can see what it takes to make a pilgrimage to the Cave of St. Nicholas and see scenes from the Divine Liturgy which took place there on Saturday 2 July 2011, which was presided over by Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos. In the second video is the Metropolitan's homily. The third video is a history of Mount Varasova by Mr. Paliouras. The last two videos are summed up in the first.