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Wednesday, 27 December 2006

normal_iviron2.jpgThe monastery of Iveron is located on the northeast side of the peninsula. The monastery was founded in the last quarter of the tenth century by John Tornikipos, a courtier of David the ruler of Iberia (Georgia). The 16th century had been a period of prosperity for the monastery, and, as result, it had been decorated with splendid painting works.

It occupies the third rank in the hierarchical order of the twenty Athonite monasteries. It is inhabited by 61 monks (1990) and until a few years is coenobitic (communal).

Its katholikon was first built in the first half of the eleventh century and was restored in 1513. It is dedicated to the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It follows the typical plant of the Athonite church. The church's interior was decorated at times from the 16th century to the 19th with magnificent frescoes. Its wood-carved iconostasis dates back to the 18th century.

Except the Katholikon there are sixteen chapels within the monastery. Two of them, this of Saint Nicholas and that of the Archangels lie in the eso-narthex. Into the courtyard are two chapels. Near the gate of the monastery is the chapel which houses the thaumaturgical icon of Virgin Portaitissa. To the east is the chapel of Saint John the Baptist.

In front the entrance of the Katholikon lies the Phiale for the blessing of the waters reconstructed in 1865 and opposite of the church stands the refectory.

Treasures held within the monastery

The monastery’s skevofylakion (treasury) contains gold-embroidered sacerdotal vestments, ecclesiastic plates, and Russian art works.

The library is one of the richest in Mount Athos, containing more than 2,000 codices and 15 liturgical scrolls, 100 manuscripts and 15,000 printed books. The library also contains several important imperial and patriarchal documents.

 

Miracle-working icons within the monastery

potra_ivir.jpgThe Miraculous Icon of the Iveron Mother of God was painted by the apostle and evangelist Luke. It was during the reign of the iconoclast Byzantine emperor Theophilus that soldiers came to the house of the widow, where in a small chapel the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God occupied a place of honor. One of the soldiers struck the Icon with his sword, and immediately blood began to flow from the gashed cheek of the Virgin. Shaken by this miracle, the soldier instantly repented, renounced the iconoclast heresy, and entered a monastery. After praying for guidance before the Icon, the widow put the Holy Image into the sea. To her immense surprise and joy the Icon did not sink but, remaining upright, drifted away in a westerly direction. Many years later this Icon appeared on the Holy Mountain ("in a pillar of fire" as Athonite tradition recounts) from the sea, close by the Iveron monastery. The Mother of God appeared to monk Gabriel in a vision and directed him to convey to the abbot and brothers of the monastery that She wished them to have Her Icon as their help and salvation. The icon was then brought into the monastery and placed in the altar. On the next day the Icon disappeared from the sanctuary, and was found on the wall beside the monastery gate. It was returned to the altar, but the next day it was again found by the gate. This recurred several times, until the the Holy Virgin revealed to the monk Gabriel that it was not Her wish for the Icon to be protected by the monks, but that She wished to protect them.  In addition to many miraculous hearings, the Holy Virgin demonstrated Her protection of the Iveron Monastery during various assaults by Saracen pirates. 

 

 

Last Updated ( Friday, 29 December 2006 )
 
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