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Welcome To Mount Athos

Mount Athos, Greece

A reader is on pilgrimage at Mount Athos, the world center of Orthodox Christian monasticism:

Greetings from the Holy Mountain! You’ve got to make this journey at least once. It is really hard praying all night, but good hard–quite magical in fact.

Ouzo, Greek (a.k.a “Turkish”) coffee and jam greets pilgrims at Koutloumousiou Monastery.

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15 Comments To "Welcome To Mount Athos"

#1 Comment By Windswept House On February 5, 2017 @ 2:19 pm

The West’s decline is directly proportional to the decline of its citizens willingness to love. (love defined as an act of self-giving).

#2 Comment By Michael On February 5, 2017 @ 6:14 pm

Just asked a neighbor to watch the kids–I’m headed right over.

#3 Comment By Grumpy Realist On February 5, 2017 @ 8:33 pm

Isn’t Mount Athos the place which doesn’t allow any women? At all?

In which case you might want to change your title, Rod–because I would definitely NOT be welcomed…

#4 Comment By M_Young On February 5, 2017 @ 11:22 pm

In Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro etc one (esp. a foreigner) says ‘domacha kava’ (home, home made, homeland coffee), so as not to offend anyone.

There are ‘coffee boundaries’ as sure as the Hajnal line exists. One side, the grounds are simply thrown into the coffee. Other side, (very) hot water/ steam forced through the grounds. Third side, coffee is brewed with water and then separated via a filter of some sort.

#5 Comment By mrscracker On February 6, 2017 @ 6:44 am

grumpy realist,
I think it works in a similar way for Carmelite monasteries. Women and girls can visit if they’re discerning a vocation. Men are excluded.( The bishop gets a pass though.)

#6 Comment By P On February 6, 2017 @ 10:26 am

I stayed overnight once at a Benedictine monastery. The next day was a diocesan-wide work day on the monastery property planting trees, clearing brush, etc. My Baptist parents didn’t understand why my wife wasn’t allowed to stay overnight but came the next morning for the work day.

“They allow women to come there and work,” was my thoughtless reply. My dad thought it was really funny.

(On a side note, the semi-enclosed community of nuns on the grounds don’t eat food with men.)

#7 Comment By Mark the Zealot On February 6, 2017 @ 2:57 pm

I have been to Athos once. My 16 year old son with with me and then was blessed to be invited to spend a month last summer at an Athos kelli. This kelli now has services in English. Rod, email me if you want some more info.

#8 Comment By D W On February 7, 2017 @ 8:20 am

Tsipouro, not ouzo!

#9 Comment By Ohtobide On February 7, 2017 @ 8:25 am

I have been following your blog, not because I agree with much of what you say but because I want to hear your views.

I have not commented before but please, is Grumpy Realist right? Is this only for men? If so, don’t you think you should explain that the invitation excludes half the world?

[NFR: Yes, it’s only for men. It is a male-only monastic enclave. Is it not obvious why male monks would not let women onto the mountain? If it were a republic of women’s monasteries, it would be perfectly obvious why men would not be allowed. — RD]

#10 Comment By dan On February 7, 2017 @ 8:49 am

“Isn’t Mount Athos the place which doesn’t allow any women? At all?

In which case you might want to change your title, Rod–because I would definitely NOT be welcomed…”

Get over yourself.

#11 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On February 7, 2017 @ 10:29 am

Ohtobide,

Anyone who has heard about Mount Athos knows that, yes, obviously it’s only for men. Why is this even worthy of comment?

#12 Comment By Fr. Matthew Harrington On February 7, 2017 @ 11:52 am

You should go!

#13 Comment By Stephen Hall On February 7, 2017 @ 3:38 pm

“Isn’t Mount Athos the place which doesn’t allow any women? At all?

In which case you might want to change your title, Rod–because I would definitely NOT be welcomed…”

Why would you want to go, anyway? You are a self-described pagan.

“If so, don’t you think you should explain that the invitation excludes half the world?”

Visiting the holy site of Athos is a privilege, not a right. If the monks of Athos remarks that only those who are left-handed come, the rest of can’t complain.

#14 Comment By Jonathan On March 4, 2017 @ 5:39 pm

I made a pilgrimage to Mount Athos a year ago – though, being an Evangelical pastor from the USA, you could say I stood out a bit! But it was a beautiful and soul-enriching time – hard, in many ways, but absolutely a blessing.

(Have you been there, Rod?)

[NFR: No. Not yet. — RD]

#15 Comment By Emmanuel Tsangaris On May 3, 2017 @ 5:49 am

The welcome treat includes loukoumi (turkish delight). The combination with tsipouro is sublime. You should come to Athos Mr. Dreher. I visit it once or twice a year the last 7 years. It is always refreshing to my soul.