November 4, 2021

The Monastery Where Saint George Karslides Was Tonsured a Monk


Saint George Karslides, then known as Athanasios, left his abusive uncle as a young child and was miraculously brought by Saint George the Trophy-Bearer on his horse to a priest to take care of him. By the age of nine he was already made a novice and dressed in the cassock. He lived in asceticism at the Monastery of the Dormition of the Theotokos in Dranda of Abkhazia, which dates to the 11th-12th century (some believe it was built in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian). Though it was destroyed a few times since then by the Ottomans, it was rebuilt and took on today's appearance, which is a mixture of Byzantine and Georgian architecture.

On July 20, 1919, Athanasios was tonsured a monk and renamed Symeon. Shortly after this he was ordained a Hierodeacon. When the communists came they arrested, incarcerated, tortured and executed the monks. Saint George was miraculously able to escape execution, but never returned to this monastery due to it being shut down by the communists.