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Athanasius of Athos

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[[Image:Athanasius of Athos.jpg|thumb|right|150px|St. Athanasius of Athos with the [[Theotokos|Mother of God]] ]]Our venerable father '''Athanasius of Athos''', also '''Athanasius the Athonite''' (Greek: Αθανάσιος ο Αθωνίτης), also called and '''Athanasios of Trebizond''' (c. 920–c. 1000), was a Byzantine [[monk]] who founded the monastic community on [[Mount Athos]], which has since evolved into the greatest centre center of Eastern Orthodox Christian [[monasticism]]. His [[feast day]] is [[July 5]].
==Life==Born Abraham in Trebizond and patronized by Michael Maleinosabout the year 920, he studied was orphaned at Constantinople an early age and became famous there as Abraham, was raised by a fervent preacher who held great authority with Michael's nephew, Nicephorus Phocaspious [[nun]]. By After the time Phocas ascended the imperial thronedeath of his adoptive mother, Abrahamwas taken to Constantinople, ill at ease with to the lax morals court of the monks living in emperor Romanus the capitalElder. There, changed his name to he was enrolled as a student under the renowned rhetorician Athanasius and joined . Soon, he attained the monks at Mount mastery of skill of his teacher, and he himself became an instructor of youths. During his time in Constantinople, Abraham met St. Michael Maleinus, [[igumen]] of Kyminas Monastery. Abraham told St. Michael about his life and revealed to him his desire to become a monk. Michael recognizing in BithyniaAbraham the [[Holy Spirit]] taught him much in questions of salvation. In 958During their spiritual talks Michael was visited by his nephew, he relocated [[Nicephorus II Phocas|Nicephorus Phocas]], a military officer who was to Mount Athosbe a future emperor. Nicephorus became impressed with Abraham's spirit, and for all his life Nikephoros regarded Abraham with reverent respect and love.
He helped Consumed with zeal for the monastic life, Abraham left everything behind and went to the Kyminas Monastery. There, he fell down at the feet of Igumen Michael and begged to be received into the monastic life. Fulfilling Abraham's request with joy, the igumen [[tonsure]]d him with the name Athanasius. Later in 958, having left Kyminas in search of a solitary place, Athanasius came to a place called Melanos, at the very extremity of [[Mount Athos]], where he settled far from the other monastic dwellings. Here, he struggled, intending to leave after a year, when on the last day as he set to pray, a heavenly light suddenly shined upon him, filling him with an indescribable joy. All the thoughts of leaving dissipated and his eyes welled up, graced with tears. From that moment St. Athanasius received the gift of tenderness, and he became as strongly fond of the place of his solitude as he had formerly loathed it. [[Image:Athanasios-the-Athonite.jpg|left|thumb|150px|St. Athanasius the Athonite]]During this time Nicephorus Phocas, remembering his vow to become a monk, besought Athanasius to build a [[monastery]]. At first reluctant, Athanasius set about the building of the monastery. While having to defend the [[hermit]]s, or and [[skete]]s, there against from raids by the [[Muslim]] Saracens, and also started to incorporate the sketes incorporating already there into established sketes in his community, he built what would eventually become known as the [[Great Lavra (Athos)|Great Lavra]], which Athanasius built with the financial assistance of Nicephorus. This [[monastery]] was dedicated in 963. It The monastery is still in use today, and is often referred to by people of the area simply as "Lavra", or "The Monastery". Three other foundations followed shortly thereafter, with three monasteries were also founded during the lifetime of them remaining in place to the present. Athanasius met with considerable opposition from the hermits already at Mount Athos in the construction , those of his monasteries. They resented his intrusion [[Iviron Monastery (Athos)|Iviron]], [[Esphigmenou Monastery (Athos)|Esphigmenou]], and his attempts to bring order and discipline to their lives[[Vatopedi Monastery (Athos)|Vatopedi]].
Upon Nicephorus' death Athanasius established at the enemies monastery a cenobitic monastic Rule on the model of Athanasios prevailed and he had to leave Athos for Cyprus, where he lived until the new emperorold Palestinian monasteries. Divine services were served with all strictness, John Tzimisces, resumed the patronage of the Great Lavra and bestowed upon no one was so bold as to talk during the monastery its first charter in 971. Athanasiosservices, spurred by a divine vision, returned at once nor to Athos as an Hegumen (come late or leave the [[Abbotchurch]]) and introduced a [[typikon]] for cenobiteswithout necessity. Yet, based on those compiled by [[Theodore Athanasius met with considerable opposition from the Studite|Theodore Studites]] and [[Basil hermits already at Mount Athos during the Great|Basil construction of Caesarea]]his monasteries. They resented his intrusion and attempts to bring order and discipline to their lives.
He died during an accident, killed by falling masonry when the cupola of his church collapsed. Upon his the deathof emperor Nicephorus in 969, the enemies of Athanasius prevailed, and he was forced to leave Athos for Cyprus. There he lived until the new emperor, John Tzimisces, resumed patronage of the Great [[glorification|glorified]] as a [[saintLavra]]and bestowed upon the monastery its first charter in 971.
Athanasius died about the year 1000, during an accident. He was killed by falling masonry when the cupola of new construction on his church collapsed. After his death, Athanasius was [[glorification|glorified]] as a [[saint]].
 
==Sources==
*[http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsLife.asp?FSID=101908 OCA: Venerable Athanasius the Founder of the Great Lavra and Coenobitic Monasticism on Mt. Athos]]
*[[Wikipedia:Athanasius_the_Athonite]]
*[http://www.answers.com/topic/athanasius-the-athonite-1 Athanasius the Athonite]
[[Category: Monastics]]
[[Category: Saints]]
[[Category:Byzantine Saints]]
[[Category: Greek Saints]]
[[Category:10th-century saints]]
 
[[el:Αθανάσιος ο Αθωνίτης]]
[[ro:Atanasie Athonitul]]

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