Dochiariou Monastery (Athos)
|Holy Monastery of Dochiariou|
|Rank or attached monastery||Tenth|
|Type of community||Cenobitic Monastery|
|Founded||Late 10th Century|
|Music used||Byzantine chant|
|Feastdays celebrated||Ss Michael and Gabriel-Archangels|
The Dochiariou Monastery is located on the southwestern coast of the Athos Peninsula in northern Greece. It is ranked tenth in the hierarchical order of the twenty monasteries located on the peninsula. As is case of the other institutions on Mount Athos, life at Dochiariou is coenobitic.
The origins of Dochiariou Monastery can be traced to the tenth century. The circumstances of its founding are varied. One variant is that the monastery was originally founded near the port of Daphne at the end of the tenth century by Euthymios, who was a pupil of St. Athanasius the Athonite, and a "dohiaris", that is one who made "dohia". Another attributes the founding of the monastery to the monk Daniel of Dochiariou between 1030-1032. Another, that it was named after a monk, Athanasio Lavrioti, who was responsible for the keeping of the wine and oil supplies.
The monastery went into decline shortly after its founding, probably plundered by pirates during the years of Frankish occupation of Mount Athos after the Latin conquest of Constantinople in 1204. The surviving monks then began the present monastery. During the fourteenth century Dochiariou received support from emperor John Paleologos V and Stephen IV of Serbia. The katholikon for the monastery was built in the mid sixteenth century (1568) with financial aid from Alexander and Roxandra of Moldavia and John Lapousneanos. Then during the occupation of Mount Athos by the Ottoman sultan during the Greek war for independence in 1821, Dochiariou lost all its property.
The katholikon, which was built on the foundation of an earlier church, is dedicated to the archangels, Ss. Michael and Gabriel. The feast day is November 8. The church style follows that of the other Athonite katholikons. The katholikon is the largest among those monasteries on Mount Athos. The murals in the katholikon were done by George the Cretan in 1568, with further work done in 1783. The refectory was built at the same time as the katholikon. The murals in the refectory were done in 1675. There are ten chapels in the monastery.
The Dochiariou monastery library holds 441 manuscripts of which 395 are catalogued, 100 codices, and 1,500 printed books. The monastery also holds many valuable vestments, liturgical objects, and relics of saints. Also, among the treasures is a fragment of the True Cross and the icon of the Virgin Gorgoepikoos which is in the chapel near the entrance to the Katholikon that is dedicated to the Panagia (Virgin Mary).