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