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New Civil Administrator extols Mount Athos as a spiritual ark on first official visit

In his inaugural visit to Mount Athos, Mr. Anastasios Mitsialis, the newly appointed Civil Administrator, hailed the sacred peninsula as a “unique ark of spiritual treasures” and the protectors of the worldview preserved by Christian monasticism with the flourishing of the monastic world of Mount Athos.

A few days ago, the ambassador and former deputy governor of the National Intelligence Service of Greece, assumed his duties as the new Civil Administrator of Mount Athos, replacing the shipowner, Mr. Thanasis Martinos, and was present at the official reception ceremony in Karyes. Also present was the deputy governor, Mr. Aristos Kasmiroglou, who has enjoyed a long tenure in this position.

After the official reception of Mr. Mitsialis, a doxology service took place at the Protaton Church of the Dormition of the Theotokos. Mr. Mitsialis, following the address by the First Supervisor Hieromonk Stefanos Hilandarinos, emphasised the millennial tradition of Mount Athos. He acknowledged the settlers of Mount Athos for their resilience, stability, and unwavering commitment to their sacred purpose in the face of difficulties.

“My presence here as a steward of your efforts and contribution is accompanied by the firm certainty and conviction in the importance of the privileged self-governing tradition of more than 1,000 years,” Mr. Mitsialis commented, and added: “you, the inhabitants of Mount Athos, manage throughout time to demonstrate stability in your central organisation and face the circumstances without moving away from your main and sacred purpose.”

Mr. Mitsialis also referred to the Phanar and to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew “under whose supervision the Athos peninsula is located”, expressing his respect and devotion.

Afterwards, the customary lunch was offered in the Hall of the Holy Assembly of Mount Athos along with greetings from the Holy Community, which was offered by the representative of Simonopetra Monastery, Hieromonk Ieronymos. Mr. Mitsialis assured the fathers that the door of his office will always be open and he himself will be their helper and partner for all matters concerning the Athonite State.