St. Paul’s Monastery is situated in the south-eastern part of the Athos peninsula, near the tops of rocks of the Anna and Karuli monastery, about one and a half hours’ walk from the monastery of Dionysiat. The monastery building is burn into by a back wall into an unusually beautiful rock. Massive foundation stones rise to the level of cells (series of buildings of the cubic form), along which grow cypresses. Behind them, standing out sharply against the blue sky, you can see the snowy top of Mount Athos. The monastery is named after its founder and is dedicated to the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord (February 2).
In the past, he was consecrated several times, including in honor of Christ the Savior and Saint George.
In the XIV century, the wife of Sultan Murad II, who conquered Thessaloniki, the stepmother of Mehmed II, who later seized Constantinople, Mara, remaining an Orthodox Christian and after marriage, donated 1000 ducats and 2 estates to the monastery. During the seizure of Constantinople, the Turks plundered the city and, among other things, took the imperial treasury, in which there were many precious objects, including parts of the gifts of the Magians to the Christ Child. Then they were presented to the wife of the Sultan, and she went on a ship to the Holy Mountain to pass them to the monastery of St. Paul.
When Mara, accompanied by court nobles and high-ranking monks, went ashore and was halfway to the monastery, a magnificent woman appeared before her and asked: Who are you, daring to enter My garden? Mara replied: I am the Queen of Serbia. I brought the sacred gifts of the Magi. Then the Woman said: Here I am the Queen. And therefore, go back. Having uttered this, the Woman, shining like a star, with divine beauty and glory, disappeared. Mara realized that it was the Most Holy Mother of God herself.
In the monastery are the relics of St. Basil the Great, St. Maximus the Confessor, St. Gregory the Theologian, Saints Callinicus and Agathios and the head of St. Theodore of Alexandria. The monastery of St. Paul has 12 small temples and chapels, 3 cells in Karey and 2 monasteries – St. Demetrius and the New Skeete.
PROGRAM FOR 5 DAYS
1st day. THESSALONIKI – OURANOUPOLI
Arrival in Thessaloniki. Meeting at the airport “Macedonia”, transfer from the airport to the hotel in Ouranoupoli, accommodation in the hotel.
2nd day. OURANUPOLI – ATHOS
Breakfast in the hotel. Receiving diamonitirion (permission to stay) Buy tickets for the ferry, departure to the Holy Mount Athos. Arrival in Xenophon Monastery, accommodation.
3rd day. THE HOLY AFON
Stay in the monastery. Pilgrims live according to the charter of the monastery, attend church services. In the monastery, meal – 2 times a day, in the morning and in the evening. In the period of fasting – one meal.
4th day. SAINT ATHANASIOUS – OURANOUPOLI
5th day. OURANIAPOLI – THESSALONIKI – AIRPORT
Breakfast in the hotel. Transfer from the hotel to the airport “Macedonia”. Departure.
According to this program, only one monastery is visited. If you would like, you can visit other Athos Saints (depending on the group). There is an opportunity to visit the monastery of Panteleimon (Russian), which is 10 minutes walk from the monastery of Xenophon and the monastery of Dohkiar, which is located 25 minutes walk. Our pilgrim center has own transport on Athos (by arrangement, at an additional cost).
Tour cost per person:
Group 3 – 5 people – 210 euro
Group 6 – 18 people – 160 euro
The cost of the tour includes:
– group transfer airport – Ouranoupoli – Airport
– 2 nights accommodation in the Hotel Ouranupoli in 1, 2 or 3 bed rooms
– meals in the hotel – breakfast.
Food and accommodation on the Athos.
– preliminary permission to visit Athos
– medical insurance
Diamonitirion – 25 euro, tickets for the ferry are paid on the spot.
Memorable gifts to the pilgrims – rosary, pouch of frankincense, consecrated and venareted to the relics of the monastery of Iveron (more than 180 relics of Orthodox saints) and to the gifts of the Magians of the monastery of Saint Paul.