June 20, 2014

Historic Liturgy at an Isolated Hermitage of Meteora

A historic Divine Liturgy took place on May 24, 2014 at an isolated hermitage of Meteora that can only be accessed by rock climbing.

The last Divine Liturgy ever celebrated at the Hermitage of Saint Gregory was 50 years ago, due to the difficulty of reaching it. Yet this year, with the help of five firefighters from the Fire Department of Kalambaka, two abbots and four monks scaled a 50m cliff to get to the Hermitage of Saint Gregory, hidden out of sight in a cave.

The Hermitage of Saint Gregory dates back to some time between 1370 and 1375 and was built by the brother Hieromonks Sts. Gregory and Theodosios. The Hermitage consists of three successive cavernous habitats with distinctive wooden balconies, the first at the height of about 25 meters, the second 35 and the third almost 50. The area does not get wet from the rain, because it is at an acute angle between the rock and the ground, which is why the wooden balconies have been able to survive so many centuries.

The chapel is decorated with old but beautiful frescoes in the Macedonian style, and they are well preserved. Meteorite fathers scaled this isolated hermitage in the 1970's and first discovered the frescoes of Sts. Gregory and Theodosios together with their tombs.

Since 1994 the Hermitage of Saint Gregory is a dependency of the Holy Trinity Monastery with the No. 18/22.11.1994 Act of Metropolitan Seraphim of Stagon and Meteora. It is hoped that Holy Trinity Monastery will soon build an accessible means for pilgrims to be able to visit this Hermitage, so that regular Divine Liturgies can be celebrated, especially on the feast of the founders.