June 21, 2014

Mount Athos, a Sleepless Vigil Lamp

On the Second Sunday of Matthew, which falls on the Second Sunday After Pentecost, we celebrate the Synaxis of All Saints of Mount Athos, as it was established by St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite. Beginning from the night before, every Athonite monk and ascetic, in every monastery, skete and cell of Mount Athos, keeps vigil in honor of all the Holy Fathers who shined brightly through their life and deeds on the Holy Mountain for over a thousand years. Below is a brief reflection by the Orthodox Awareness Network about the significance of the Holy Mountain to the world, as well as a prayer for those who ceaselessly pray for us.

Every night in every monastery of the Holy Mountain there is at least one monk keeping vigil, praying all night for those unable to keep vigil. The Holy Mountain is a place where for over 1,000 years at least there are celebrated at least 100 Divine Liturgies within a 24 hour period. Ultimately the Holy Mountain, the garden of our Panagia, is a sleepless vigil lamp, a continuous prayer to the Lord for the whole world.

Tonight, as many of us as are able, let us pray an impromptu prayer for all those people, especially the vigilant who pray for all those in need. From my heart I say:

Lord Jesus Christ, our Resurrected and Almighty God, look after, protect, strengthen, illumine and grant grace to Your servants the Monks of Mount Athos, that blessed place dedicated to Your All Holy Mother and helps all those in need this night: the sick in hospitals, especially in intensive care units, the imprisoned, the lonely people, the unemployed, orphans, widows, homeless, the guardians of our country. Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on your servants.

Good dawning to all our brothers and sisters.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.