Mt. Athos, August 31, 2023
On Monday, August 28, the feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, a new Georgian skete was opened on Holy Mount Athos.
The new holy habitation is the third Georgian skete on the Holy Mountain, reports the Public Relations Service of the Georgian Patriarchate.
According to the Athonite statutes, there are 20 ruling monasteries on the Holy Mountain, and all other sketes and cells are dependent upon one of these main monasteries. The new Georgian habitation is dependent upon the Great Lavra. The first is dependent upon Simonopetra, and the second upon Vatopedi.
The new skete was founded by the initiative and direct efforts of Fr. Hilarion, a Georgian monk who has already been laboring on Mt. Athos for more than 20 years, and with the financial help of Georgian believers.
In 2018, Fr. Hilarion became the first Georgian monk in 75 years to be tonsured into the Great Schema on Mt. Athos. The service took place at Gregoriou Monastery.
The main church was consecrated during the All-Night Vigil for the Dormition by His Grace Bishop Vakhtang of Nikortsminda of the Georgian Church. The service was celebrated in Georgian and Greek. Archimandrite Metodije, the abbot of the Serbian Hilandar Monastery, also attended the service.
Two monks are officially listed as members of the new skete. The founder, Fr. Hilarion, has been appointed the head of the monastic habitation.
Iveron Monastery, one of the 20 ruling monasteries, was founded by Georgian monks in the late 10th century, though it eventually became a Greek monastery.