May 24, 2021

Almost Every Monk at Stavrovouni Monastery Has Been Infected With the Coronavirus

Stavrovouni Monastery in Cyprus is considered one of the oldest monasteries in the world, which is believed to date back to Saint Helen, who established the monastery in the fourth century and left behind a large portion of the True Cross for veneration.

These days, however, Stavrovouni Monastery is not doing too well. For weeks the Monastery has been closed due to coronavirus infections spreading. On May 19th of this year they had their first death reported due to the coronavirus. His name was Monk Demetrianos.

Almost all the monks of the Monastery of Stavrovouni were infected with the virus and some are being treated at the General Hospital of Nicosia. Fr. Neophytos is intubated, while the condition of Fr. Theophanes is also serious. Hieromonk Gregory, Fr. Artemis and Fr. Hilarion are also in the hospital. The Abbot Dionysios was also in the hospital, along with two others, but they were released.

It is believed that a visitor brought the coronavirus to the Monastery that had attended services for Holy Week. When the virus was first detected, the Monastery immediately shut its doors and went into quarantine, with the monks relegated to their cells.

To make matters worse, on May 14th one monk, Fr. John, who refused to quarantine, wear a mask and to acknowledge the dangers of the virus, decided to leave and go live as an ascetic in the mountains. The monk came into conflict with the Abbot of the Monastery and the other monks on issues related to the coronavirus after the detection of positive cases. He even refused to wear a protective mask, telling the other monks that "God is great." The missing monk then left a note informing everyone that he would go to the mountains to practice asceticism. He was found safe the next day.

Some describe him as a reactionary person who does not adapt to the rules of the Monastery and often expresses his desire to live alone as an ascetic in another place. However, this is not the first time that this particular monk decided to leave the Monastery and take to the mountains to practice asceticism. He tried to do the same 4-5 years ago when he was finally located by the Police in a bad condition. Information states that this monk has a degree in Agriculture and comes from a rich family in Larnaca.

It is noted as well that back in late February the nuns of Panagia Phaneromeni Monastery in Salamina also had multiple cases of the coronavirus in their Monastery, which took the life of Nun Euvouli.