Monastery Agios Pavlos

Founded: End of 10th century
Founder: Pavlos Xiropotamitis
Feast-day: 2nd of February
Library: 500 manuscripts
Collection: "The Gifts of The Magi"

The Monastery of Agios Pavlos (Saint Paul) is dedicated to Christ the Savior and is located on the west side of Mount Athos. Its existence first appears in documents of 972. Then it was mentioned in 1269. After the Catalan raids, it was degraded into a kellion, only to become a monastery again in the 3rd quarter of the 14th c. In the 15th c. it was financially supported by Serbians rulers and after the fall of Byzantium, by rulers of eastern Europe.

It occupies the fourteenth rank in the hierarchical order of the twenty Athonite monasteries. It is inhabited by 91 monks (1990) and is coenobitic (communal).

Today's Katholikon was built between 1839-1844 and it s dedicated to the Purification of the Virgin. Its special characteristic is its marble structure and the symmetry of its windows. Into the eso-narthex lie two chapels, dedicated to Saint Paul and to Saint George. Aside from the katholikon, the monastery has 10 chapels and a large tower that was erected in 1522.

Its library contains 495 manuscripts and 12,500 printed books. The monastery's most prized treasures are the portable icon of Virgin the Myrovlitissa (myrrh flowing), fragment of the True Cross and part of the gifts brought to baby Jesus by the Magi. The Monastery of Saint Paul also has ownership of the New Skete with 25 kalyvae and 40 monks, and the Saint Demetrios skete (Lakkoskete), where they live few Romanian monks. The New Skete's main building houses 200 manuscripts.