HOLY MONASTERY OF SAINTS
RAPHAEL, NICHOLAS AND IRENE
Our Monastery worships the Trinitarian (Triadic) God
in the Eastern (Greek)-Orthodox manner.
Our Monastery has the wonder-working Saints, Raphael, Nikolaos and Irene as protectors and patrons. These Saints are its guides and shining models of faith, life and self-sacrifice, as well as patriotism. They are specially revered, honored, invoked and ministered to by the Monastery.
The three Saints upon the Rock (see History of the Monastery)
The purpose of our Sacred Brotherhood, within its cadre of worshiping God and ministering to our Saints is:
- First of all the shaping of a genuine Christian ethos and faith, along with dedication to the in-Christ way of life, for the actual observance of divine commandments, "in the likeness of" our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
- But also the missionary work in general, for the propagation and cultivation of the Christian faith, in accordance with the principles and the Canons of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Missionary work certainly does not only include external missions, but also primarily and chiefly the mission that is addressed initially as an arousal to our own fellow-men - our brethren the (neo)Greeks - who seem to have forgotten the essence and the meaning of Christianity. Therefore, it is crucial to fight for the sake of being rebaptized in the springwaters of Orthodoxy and traditional Hellenism, and re-igniting the spark of faith within us; in parallel, diverse other labours are also necessary, in: rites-worship, sermons-catechesis, writing-publishing.
In parallel to its (prominently) missionary character, our Brotherhood does not overlook the purely material needs of our brethren, which it caters to, whenever and wherever it can be of help, depending on its available means and resources.
The fundamental principles that our Brotherhood stresses are:
1) So, brethren, stand firm and preserve the traditions you were taught either by word or by our epistle ... " (Apostle Paul, 2 Thess.2:15) .
We live in an age where a dangerous contempt of the Holy Canons and traditions is observed; and a laxity -distortion of the orthodox phronema and ethos.
Thus, there have been observed irregular conferences, common prayers - even co-officiations - with Papists and other heretics, with the participation of, or led by, high ranking clergymen, and even administrative Heads of the Church. The pope and the heretics are referred to by the ecumenists as "sister Churches", while the heretics’ "sacraments" are being recognized as valid. Therefore the Apostle Paul's message seems to be more relevant than ever before. We must stand firm in our Orthodox traditions and preserve them as the "apple of our eye."
We must follow the timeless example of so many fathers: Gregory Palamas, Mark of Ephesus, Saint Nektarios; even more so, of our own patron Saints Raphael and Nikolaos, who have been aptly named "Confessors", inasmuch as having abandoned honors, glories and offices and having been exiled because of their choice to remain loyal to their orthodox traditions.
This is the only way for us to remain authentic and apostolic and for our foundation to continue to be the only one that can exist - Jesus Christ - Otherwise, we will be toppled, and our fall will be massive!
2) "Monasteries are built on high ground, for people to climb upward", according to the words of a contemporary Elder. In other words, effort and spiritual ascent is required when striving to approach the Christian models of living, and toil, in order for us to savor spiritual fruit. The Christian (and even more so the monastic) way of life is not a casual stroll; it is a laborious ascent.
Our Holy Monastery is located at Ano Souli of Marathon, in the Attiki Province (see Map with directions). It is a place of quiet, of worship, of spiritual work and travail (see Tour photos). It is a sacred site, selected and sanctified by Saint Raphael himself. (see History of the Monastery)