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A unique monument from the 18th century, associated with St. Paisii Velichkovsky, discovered on Mount Athos

On the Holy Mount Athos, Greece, remains of cells, where in the XVIII century, supposedly, prominent Ukrainian saint, church- cultural leader and writer Paisii Velichkovsky (1722 – 1794) lived, have been discovered.

According to Serhii Shumylo, the Director of the International Institute of the Athonite Legacy, “until recently this cell of the prominent Ukrainian saint was considered to be lost. Its historical name was Kaliva Kipari. It was the first place of residence and ascetic life of St Paisii Velichkovsky on Athos.

The ascetic rebuilt it by his own efforts. He lived here in the first years of his stay on Athos in complete seclusion from 1746 to 1754. It was here that he took monastic tonsure with the name Paisii, here he gathered his first disciples around him and marked the beginning of his literary-translating activity”.

According to the scientist, this cell is a unique historical monument on Athos, associated with the activities of prominent Ukrainian saint Paisii Velichkovsky. It is located on the territory of the former monastery gardens, hence the name “Kipari” (from the Greek word “Κηπουρός” – gardener). “Kaliva is a small stone monastic hut that was once used as a dwelling for the monastic gardener.

Now ruins remain of it. They were recently discovered by chance for the first time by the Athonite monks when cutting through the thick and impenetrable thickets of the monastery forest. According to many signs and descriptions, this is probably the dwelling of St. Paisius Velichkovsky. However, it still needs more research”, stressed the scientist.

Following the invitation of the Athonite monks the director of the International Institute of the Athonite Legacy Serhii Shumylo together with the consul of the Ukrainian consulate in Thessaloniki Olexander Sosonyuk, visited this place of devotion of the famous Ukrainian saint at the end of November – early December 2022.

During the visit, Serhii Shumylo managed to make a preliminary survey of the shrine and take pictures of the ruins from different angles. According to the Ukrainian scholar, “the ruins of the monastery are in a remote area among dense brush and bushes. To get to them, we had to hack our way through the bushes. In the future, it should be further investigated and possibly reconstructed,” says the historian.

It is reminded that on the Holy Mount Athos on November 28, 2022, the 300th anniversary of the birth of Ukrainian saint, churchman and writer Paisii Velichkovsky was commemorated.

In particular, in the former “Cossack” Skete of Prophet Elijah on Athos, founded by St. Paisii in 1757, the celebrations on the occasion of the day of memory and anniversary of the Ukrainian saint took place. Guests of honour from Ukraine – Alexander Sosonyuk, Consul of the Ukrainian Consulate in Thessaloniki, and Serhii Shumylo, Director of the International Institute of the Athonite Legacy – attended the celebrations.


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