|by Karen Handley • October 19, 2004|
The Lecture Committee at Wabash College invites everyone to encounter Mount Athos: the Ultimate All-Male Institution on Thursday, October 21 at 7 p.m. in Center Hall, Room 216.
Father Deacon Michael Walker from the Joy of All Who Sorrow Orthodox Church in Indianapolis will present a slide show of his recent trip to Mount Athos.
Since the edict of the Byzantine Emperor Constantine Monomahos in 1060 AD, women have never been permitted admission into Mount Athos, a mountainous peninsula in Greece. According to Orthodox Church tradition, Mary the Mother of God was sailing, accompanied by St John the Evangelist, on her way from Joppa to Cyprus to visit Lazarus. When the ship was blown off course, it was forced to drop anchor near the port of Klement, close to the present monastery of Iviron. Mary walked ashore and, overwhelmed by the wonderful and wild natural beauty of the mountain, she blessed it and asked her Son for it to be her garden. A voice was heard, “let this place be your inheritance and your garden, a paradise and a haven of salvation for those seeking to be saved.” Since that time the mountain was consecrated as the garden of the Mother of God and is out of bounds to any other women. There are presently about 2000 Athonite monks in 20 monasteries from many nations, including traditional Orthodox countries such as Greece, Russia, Romania, Serbia, and Bulgaria, as well as the Americas and Asia.
Everyone is welcome to an Orthodox prayer service at 5 p.m. Thursday, October 21, in the Center Hall Chapel. The Akathist Prayer is a sublime devotional poem of praises to the Holy Mother and Ever-Virgin Mary (Theotokos). Orthodox Christians throughout the world chant these prayers during the five Fridays of Lent. Formally accepted in 626 AD, Orthodox Christians have chanted this prayer for centuries.
The lecture is free and open to the public.