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The President of the Republic of Cyprus visits Mount Athos

The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Nikolaos Christodoulides, arrived on Thursday, 14 March 2024, on Mount Athos, at the port of Dafni, and then went to the capital of the Athonite State, the town of Karyes, and specifically made his way to the venerable Church of Protaton where a doxology was chanted and was ollowed by the customary Mount Athos hospitality in the synod room of the Holy Epistasia (Administration) of Mount Athos.

He was welcomed by the Chief Superintendent Monk of the Holy Administration, Elder Stefanos Hilandarinos, with the members of the Holy Administration and the Representatives of the Holy Monasteries. The Cypriot President was addressed by Elder Nikodimos Agiopavlitis.

During his reply at the Holy Protaton Church, in Karyes of Mount Athos, he emphasised: “Before you, we reverently bow down the knee of the body and spirit and we ask you to increase your prayers and your fervent supplications to the Lord and the Most Holy Theotokos for the sufferings and sorrows of our homeland, Cyprus, to pass away and never return”. “Despite our downfalls, we exist in the life of nations. Mount Athos teaches that God is present in the shaping of the History of the world…” he added.

The president of Cyprus said he was moved by his visit to Mount Athos and praised the humility and meekness of the monks. He emphasised that the glory of the Church is expressed through the Iconographic depictions in the Churches, the hymns, the ritual and added: “Through this palace of the Divine Word, it is not possible to ignore the glorious Order of the Church, which through time reaches us and does not fall into either the excessively simple, nor the excessively complicated”.

Photographs: Kostas Tzivanidis, Mount Athos

“Mount Athos moves in all three dimensions of time. The past, the present and the future”, Mr. Christodoulides continued and added: “Holy Fathers, your work is the supreme responsibility of our spiritual awakening”.

Later, Mr. Christodoulides, in his greeting at the building of the Holy Community, recalled that the founder of Mount Athos, Saint Athanasios, even before moving to Athos to establish the monastic state, had visited Cyprus.

He also thanked the Ecumenical Patriarchate and His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for his blessing and for his spiritual guidance.

At noon on Thursday, Mr. Christodoulides left Karyes for the Dionysiou Monastery, while he will visit the monastery of Iveron and the monastery of Vatopedi, where he will complete his visit to Athos.