President Radev: Zographou Monastery Has Safeguarded Bulgarian Spirituality for Over 1,000 Years

November 16 (BTA) - Bulgarian
President Rumen Radev joined celebrations of the feast of the
Zographou Monastery, the Bulgarian monastery in Mount Athos, on
Saturday. Hundreds of pilgrims from Bulgaria and the Balkans
flocked to the place for the occasion, the President's Press
Secretariat reported.

Radev said: "The Zographou Monastery is one of the most
cherished and important spiritual hubs of the Bulgarian people,
not just because it is the repository of invaluable manuscripts,
 icons and other artifacts, but also because it has safeguarded
the Bulgarians' faith, spirituality, memory and language for
more than a thousand years."

The St George Zographou Monastery is one of 20 Eastern Orthodox
monasteries in Mt Athos, the autonomous monastic polity in
Northern Greece. It was founded in the late 9th or early 10th
century by Bulgarians from Ohrid and is regarded as the
historical Bulgarian monastery in Mt Athos. It is traditionally
inhabited by Bulgarian Orthodox monks. The Zographou Monastery's
 library contains a rich collection of medieval manuscripts and
the original draft of Paisius of Hilendar's "Slav-Bulgarian
History" (1762), a seminal book of the Bulgarian National
Revival Period.

President Radev conferred the Order of the Balkan Range, First
Class, on the hegumen of the monastery, Archimandrite Ambrose.
The highest Bulgarian state honour was bestowed on Ambrose for
his contribution to strengthening Orthodox monasticism in Mt
Athos and promoting Bulgaria's relations with Greece. Ambrose
has served as hegumen at Zographou since 1997 and has been
instrumental in preserving it as a Bulgarian monastery,
rehabilitating the complex, preserving its cultural and
historical heritage, maintaining its library and attracting
pilgrims. The monastery plays an important role in organizing
and financing the education of Bulgarian children in a Sunday
school in Thessaloniki.

Saturday's celebrations were also attended by Metropolitan
Seraphim of Nevrokop and Mt Athos Civil Governor Konstantinos
Dimtsas. RY/VE

Source: Zographou Monastery, Mt Athos