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The Elders of Mount Athos and The Meaning of Life

Updated: Sep 25, 2022

quote from saint paisos
Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

“Most importantly, a person must know the deepest meaning of life, which consists in saving one’s soul. Having believed in God and eternal life, man realizes that earthly life is perishable, and is preparing for a journey to the other world. We rarely recall that none of us will escape death. This life was not given to us in order to enjoy it serenely, but in order to pass an exam on the suitability for eternal life, therefore we should always have a goal: prepare for this test so that when Christ calls us to Himself, ascend to Him without hindrance and abide with Him forever.”

~Saint Paisios of Mount Athos was a well-known Greek Eastern Orthodox ascetic from Mount Athos, who originated from Pharasa, Cappadocia. He was respected for his spiritual guidance and ascetic life and many people worldwide highly venerate Elder Paisios, especially in Greece and in Russia (Wikipedia)

Mount Athos (Greek: Άθως, [ˈa.θos]) is a mountain and peninsula in northeastern Greece and an important center of Eastern Orthodox monasticism. It is an autonomous area within the Greek Republic and home to 20 monasteries under the direct jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.

Mount Athos has been inhabited since ancient times and has had a nearly 1,800-year continuous Christian presence with its long historical monastic traditions, which date back to at least AD 800 and the Byzantine era. Today there are over 2,000 monks from Greece and many other countries, including Eastern Orthodox countries such as Romania, Moldova, Georgia, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Russia, who live an ascetic life in Athos, isolated from the rest of the world.

The Athonite monasteries contain a rich collection of well-preserved artifacts, rare books, ancient documents, and artworks of immense historical value, and Mount Athos has been listed as a World Heritage site since 1988.

Visit the website: Friends of Mt. Athos for more information


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