Christ is risen! Truly He is risen!
Panagia Gerontissa ("The Abbess") (source)
St. Paisios on Panagia liberating the Holy Mountain from the Turks (amateur translation)
Note: Between 1821 and 1830, Mount Athos was occupied by Turkish soldiers. They eventually left the Holy Mountain on St. Thomas Sunday, which is an additional reason why all of the Athonite Fathers celebrate this feast with such rejoicing. Below is a beautiful quote of Elder Paisios attributing this to the Panagia.
The good God ordains everything in the
best way, but much patience and care is needed, because many times,
when people struggle to free themselves from the net, they get
God with patience untangles them. This
situation will not go far. God will take a broom!
In 1830, because there were many
Turkish soldiers, for a period of time, at Iveron Monastery on Mount
Athos, there did not remain a single monk.
The Fathers had left, some with the
Holy Relics, some to help in the [Greek] Revolution.
One monk would come from afar to light
the vigil lamps and to sweep.
Inside and outside of the Monastery was
the Turkish army, and this poor monk that was sweeping said: “My
Panagia, what will happen with this situation?”
He prayed once with pain to the
Panagia, and he beheld a woman approaching—it was the Panagia—who
shone and whose face was radiating light.
She took the broom from his hand and
said: “You don't know how to sweep well; I will sweep.”
And she began to sweep.
Later she disappeared into the Holy
And in three days, all of the Turks had
They were cast out by the Panagia.
St. Paisios the Athonite depicted before his cell of Panagouda on Mount Athos, and Hagia Sophia, as he had a great love for his heritage (source)
Christ has risen from the dead, by death he has trampled on death, and to those in the graves given life!
Truly the Lord is risen!
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