Moscow, May 18, 2017
His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Albania arrived on the monastic center of Mt. Athos on Monday, May 15, for his first primatial visit to the Holy Mountain, AgionOros reports.
The archbishop was warmly and festively greeted in accordance with Athonite tradition by the Protepistates of the Holy Mountain Elder Barnabas, members of the Holy Epistasia, and representatives of the twenty ruling Athonite monasteries, and the Athos civil governor Aristos Kasmiroglu.
Mt. Athos is governed by the Holy Community, which consists of one representative of each of the twenty monasteries. The Holy Epistasia (or Kinot) represents the executive authority of the Holy Community and is made up of four members. The Protepistates is the representative from the most senior monastery who presides over the Holy Epistasia.
After a moleben in the Protaton Cathedral in the Athonite capital of Karyes, Archbishop Anastasios and the Albanian delegation had the opportunity to venerate the miraculous Icon of the Mother of God “It is Truly Meet.” Then the delegation met with the Holy Epistasia and the representatives of the various Athonite monasteries that were present at his welcoming.
The Albanian primate also visited the Athonite Ecclesiastical Academy in Karyes, which has the status of a theological seminary, visiting with students and their parents, the Basilica News Agency reports. The academy was founded in 1749, now occupies a wing of the Skete of St. Andrew in Karyes. It follows the Greek secondary school curriculum which is combined with an ecclesiastical education. The staff consists of six teachers with a student body of about 100 students.
Archbishop Anastasios then visited Xenophontos Monastery, where he was greeted by Abbot Alexios and the brotherhood of the habitation. A moleben was served in the main church of the monastery. In his greeting, the abbot made reference to his first encounter with the current primate of the Albanian Church, which took place in 1959. His Beatitude spent the night at Xenophontos, leaving on Tuesday morning.