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Mount Athos Bans Pilgrimage Due to Coronavirus

Simonos Petras Monastery Photo © Facebook – ΟΙ ΟΜΟΡΦΙΕΣ ΤΗΣ ΕΛΛΑΔΑΣ ΜΑΣ

The governing council of Mount Athos has announced that its monastic community will remain closed to all pilgrims until the end of November due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Commonly referred to as the “Holy Mountain” by the Greeks, Mount Athos is an important center of Eastern Orthodox monasticism and home to a number of monasteries that operate under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.

The council said that only a specific number of staff and associates would be granted admission to the monasteries and after a special invitation is issued.

Furthermore, monks need a special permission to exit Mount Athos.

The ban will be reviewed after November 30.

Photo: © Philip Haarmann / Shutterstock

Located in Halkidiki, Mount Athos includes 20 monasteries, 12 skites, and about 700 houses, cells, or hermitages. Over 1,000 monks live there in communities or alone, as well as in the “desert” of Karoulia where cells cling to the cliff face rising steeply above the sea.

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