dedicated to Saint Nicholas. It is built on top of a rock near the sea near the
middle of the eastern shore of the
Athonite peninsula, located between the monasteries
of Iviron and Pantokratoros. The site where the monastery
is built was first used by Athonite
monks as early as the 10th century. It ranks fifteenth
in the hierarchy of the Athonite monasteries
and currently inhabited by 40 monks.
many conflicting tales of the monastery's
name hint to the obscurity of its historical origins. In a document by the Protos Nikiforos
dating back to 1012 there is the signature of a monk who signs as "Nikiforos monk from Stravonikita" while in a 1016 document, the same monk signs
Stavronikita""). This alludes to the existence of a Stavronikita monastery as
late as the first half of the 11th
century. According to archaeologist Sotiris Kadas
this means that the Stavronikita monastery
was one of the monasteries that were founded or built during the first
years of organized monastic life on
Giromeriatis expended great efforts to rebuild and expand the monastery. He built a surrounding wall, many cells, as well as
the monastery's catholicon. After the death of Gregorios in 1540, the renovation
was continued by Patriarch Jeremias himself out of love and respect for Gregorios.
subsequent history of the monastery
was marked by the fact that it
always remained small in comparison to other athonite monasteries,
both in property and in number of monks. Despite the repeated aid by the
athonite community as well as by important benefactors, such as archon Servopoulos
in 1612, the monk Markos in 1614, the people of Kea in
1628, Thomas Klados in 1630 and thePrince of Wallachia, Alexandru Ghica from
1727 to 1740.
monastery's prosperity was endangered by three great fires in 1864, 1874 and
1879 that caused great damage. The monastery
was rebuilt but the monks became
largely indebted again which led to further decline. This situation was partly reversed by the efforts of the abbot
Theophilos, a monk formerly from Vatopedi.The election of Abbot Vassilios
and the reversion of the monastery
to the coenobitic style greatly influenced the revival of monastic life at Stavronikita which thus obtained a new
lease of life.
kept within the monastery
hand of St. Anna, myrrh of St. Demetrius of Thessalonica, myrrh of St. Nicholas. The monastery
also has a collection of 171
manuscripts, out of which 58 are written on parchment. Some of the manuscripts bear notable iconography and
Miracle-working icons within the monastery
The icon of Saint Nicholas, known as
"Streidas" (“the Oyster”) because
when it was accidentally discovered
at the bottom of the sea (thrown there by pirates in the 9th century
and found in the 15th century), an oyster had
stuck at the forehead of St. Nicholas.
According to the athonite tradition, when the monks of Stavronikita removed the
oyster, the saint's forehead bled.