Маvrovouniou. Моnastery Of Saint George At The Black Mountain | Online Journal Cyprus Inform
About Cyprus

Маvrovouniou. Моnastery of Saint George at the Black Mountain

Мавровуни. Монастырь Св. Георгия у Черной горы

Мавровуни. Монастырь Св. Георгия у Черной горыJust 15 kilometres from Lаrnaca, on the road to the village of Тrulli, is Saint George’s monastery. It meets tired travelers like an oasis in the middle of a desert.

A visit to the monastery in the spring will give you the most vivid impression – driving along a road through verdant fields of yellow flowers, which blind you like patches of sunlight, a fresh wind filling your lungs, an indescribable feeling of joy appears.

The road leading to the monastery doesn’t stop at the gates, but instead appears to melt into the greenery of trees and bushes planted by the monks inside and beyond the monastery walls. Birds’ chirrup around you at that which is other-worldly!

Saint George

Икона Святого великомученика Георгия ПобедоносцаSaint great martyr George the Conqueror is amongst the most venerated saints both in Russia and in Cyprus.

George was on active duty with Roman Emperor, Diocletian, enjoying his special favours, but when persecution of the Christians began Gеоrge refused to deny the Christian faith and, after eight days of torture, accepted martyrdom through decapitation.

The icon of Saint George and the Dragon, measuring 1.16 per 0.87 metres, was discovered by hegumen Simeon, the current head of the convent, in the altar of the church of Saint Mammes in the neighbouring village Trulli. The icon was in very bad condition.

Being a fine art restorer, father Simeon restored the icon and ordered a silver casing for it in Greece.

According to Cypriot tradition, a small part of the icon in the casing remains open so that parishioners could kiss the surface of the icon itself.

The icon and a particle of the relic of Saint George аre now in the monastery. Local people and many pilgrims come to the monastery to kiss the sacred object.

A Convent with a Tough History

The monastery in its current form appeared here a relatively short time ago, but there is evidence that as early as the 9th cеntury there was a large Byzantium church here. In confirmation of this, the monks have preserved the capital of an ancient column. How many events has this place witnessed since those times?

There are mentions of the monastery in the writings of the hermit, Saint Neophytes, which date back to 1134.

In the 19th cеntury, when the Osman Empire reigned, the convent, like other Christian churches and monasteries, suffered tragic times – most monks were killed and buildings destroyed. Only a little church dating to the beginning of the 18th century, and two buildings which were used by shepherds, are preserved.

Life at the convent resumed only in 1994. At the beginning 3 monks, together with father Simeon, started to restore the monastery; two more friars joined them later.

Today the fraternity of the monastery consists of five people, living a combination of ordinary worldly life and monastery life.

 

Мавровуни. Монастырь Св. Георгия у Черной горыМавровуни. Монастырь Св. Георгия у Черной горыМавровуни. Монастырь Св. Георгия у Черной горы

Everyday Life of Monks

Мавровуни. Монастырь Св. Георгия у Черной горыThe day of a monk starts at two o’clock at night with prayer, then the friars go to work – as before, the fraternity is involved in agriculture, grows olives and maintains the premises.

On Sundays after the Eucharist, like in many Cypriot monasteries, they treat everyone to freshly made coffee and local sweets.

According to father Simeon the number of parishioners has increased in the monastery church, and a significant number of them are young.

Construction of a new large church has started on the area of the monastery so that anyone who wants can attend service. Works are not yet finished, but the semi-basement floor has already been blessed, and services are held there.

The Invisible Connection Between Peoples

Don’t you agree that it is always good to discover that people in a faraway country, with a different language and way of thinking, know and love the culture of your motherland? When you and your new acquaintances are united by a common faith, this connection becomes even stronger.

Father Simeon did not only study the history of Christianity in Russia, but he sincerely loves our great writer Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky including, in particular, his novel The Karamazov Brothers. This is why the semi-basement floor of the church was consecrated in honour of Optina elders, and this is not the end of Russian participation in the fate of the future church.

Icons for the church are painted in Moscow by the famous icon painter, Alexander Lavdansky. Let’s hope that with God’s help the new church will be fully built soon.