Monastery Pantokrator


The monastery Pantokrator (meaning “Almighty”) stands on a rocky promontory in the northeastern part of the peninsula, like a giant beacon hanging over the sea and, like Kutlumush, is dedicated to the transfiguration of the Lord.

The monastery was founded in the XIV century by two notable Byzantines – John Primicerios and his brother, the military leader Alexis. Initially, the monastery received funds from Byzantine rulers, and after the fall of Constantinople, in the XV century, began to live on the donations of the rulers of the countries located in the lower reaches of the Danube (these rulers were Greeks by birth), as well as Russian benefactors, among which Empress Catherine the Great.

Монастырь Пантократор 2014

Монастырь Пантократор 1904

In the cathedral of the monastery, one of the best icons of the Most Holy Theotokos under the name “Gerondissa” is kept on Mount Athos. The Mother of God on this icon stands, turning to the left, her hands stretched in supplication. The history of the icon is follows. The pirates snatched the silver salary from the icon and threw it into the well, but they did not manage to reach their prey even to the monastery gates – as a punishment for blasphemy they were suddenly struck by blindness. According to the legend, through this icon the Mother of God once asked one of the priests to finish the liturgy as soon as possible so that the abbot of the monastery could take communion before death. In 1950, a fire broke out in the monastery, which seemed impossible to stop. The brothers carried out the icon and began to sing prayers. When they approached the raging flame, it suddenly flew backward, against the wind. And completely extinguished.

In the monastery of Pantokrator there are fragments of the Life-Giving Cross of the Lord, parts of the relics of St. Andrew the Apostle, St. John Chrysostom, St. Great Martyr Kharalampy, St. Athanasius the Great, St. Andrew’s right leg Protoklit and part of the relics of Saints Cosmas and Damian.

On the way between Pantokrator and Karelia there is a place called Kapsala with a lot of kalivaes. Thirty-six of them belong to the Pantokrator monastery. In addition, the monastery owns 15 cells in and around Kareya. The famous cell of the Assumption of the Virgin, in which the archangel Gabriel taught a young monk to the prayer “Adequately News” is also the property of the monastery.

The skete of the holy prophet Elia, located a half an hour’s walk from the Pantokrator monastery, in 1575 gave the monk from the Little Russian monastery to Father Paisiy (Velichkovsky). Father Paissy soon became known as one of the most experienced confessors of his time. He corrected and re-translated the ancient patristic texts, which in translation to the Slavic before him were unreadable and made it possible to distribute the book “Philokalia” in Russia. To the shrines of the skete is the majestic artofor, the vestments, the objects of the liturgy and much more. Also in skete there is a gilded iconostasis.

Today the monastery is inhabited by 20 monks.