St. Paul's Monastery (Athos)
|Holy Monastery of Saint Paul|
|Rank or attached monastery||Thirteenth|
|Type of community||Cenobitic Monastery|
|Founded||~972 by St Pavlos Xeropotaminos; re-founded late 14th century|
|Approx. size||91 (at 1990)|
|Music used||Byzantine chant|
|Feastdays celebrated||Presentation of Christ|
The Monastery of St. Paul is one of twenty monasteries on the Mount Athos peninsula and is located on the western foot of the peninsula. It is thirteenth in hierarchical rank among the monasteries. The name of St. Paul is derived from the founder, St Pavlos Xeropotaminos (in English, Paul).
The monastery was founded in the tenth century by St Pavlos Xeropotaminos, and first mentioned in 972. After being founded, it is again mentioned in 1259; after the Catalan raids, St. Paul's was downgraded to a kellion, only to be raised again in the third quarter of the 1300s. Serbian rulers supported the monastery in the 1400s; after 1453, rulers of Eastern Europe supported the monastery.
Due to the various attacks around and near the Holy Mountain, St Paul's was partially destroyed many times. Some of the buildings that constitute the current monastery have been rebuilt, and all the buildings date from different periods of history.
The katholikon was built just before the tenth century in the Athonite style. The monastery has twelve chapels attached to it, most notably St. George's chapel, constructed in 1555, which is decorated in the Cretan style of iconography
It is dedicated to the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The katholikon still retains some mosaics from the Byzantine period. There are nineteen chapels within and outside the monastery proper, with five within the katholikon. The Greek skete of St. Demetrius and the Russian skete of St. Andrew (Serri) belong to Vatopedi.
In addition to many relics, the monastery possesses treasures such as portable icons, heirlooms, liturgical vessels; it also has a library of about 12,500 printed books and 494 manuscripts.