Mt. Athos, July 14, 2023
On Tuesday, on the feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, a church was consecrated at the Romanian St. Dimitrie Lacu Hermitage on Mt. Athos.
According to the Romanian Orthodox Church’s Basilica News Agency, the Church of the Healing Spring became the hermitage’s first church to be consecrated by a hierarch.
The church was consecrated by His Grace Bishop Timotei of Spain and Portugal, who is currently on pilgrimage to the Holy Mountain. He was concelebrated by the clergy of the hermitage.
The bishop also attended the All-Night Vigil at the hermitage the night before.
Lacu Hermitage is a skete of about 15 huts in the north foothills of Mt. Athos. It is connected to St. Paul’s Monastery, one of the twenty ruling monasteries on the Holy Mountain.
Monks were living at the hermitage since the 10th century, at that time belonging to Amalfinon—a monastery for Latin-speaking Christians before the Great Schism with the Catholic church.
In the 14th century, some Serbs borrowed money from Vatopedi Monastery to revive Lacu, but failed to pay it back. Thus, Vatopedi later made a deal with St. Paul’s Monastery and the hermitage was transferred to the latter. Slavic monks were living there in the early 17th century, and by 1754, Moldavian monks were living there. In 1760, Moldavian monk Daniel from Neamț Monastery organized it as a skete.
After the Greek Revolution of 1821, Moldavians and Wallachians stopped coming to Greece, and the hermitage fell into decline. However, new monks later started coming, and new churches and other buildings were built.
Located in a rather remote area, the hermitage again started to fall into decline. By the mid-1990s, only one monk remained. To revive the repopulate the monastery, monks were sent from Prodromou Skete (also on Mt. Athos) and from Romania. The church and cells were slowly rebuilt and more monks were added.
The video below shows beautiful scenes from the hermitage from the feast of the Ascension of the Lord in 2021: