The Friends of Mount Athos


Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia

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Pilgrimage to Constantinople,
and Excursion to Cappadocia
19 – 28 October 2007

Following the highly successful pilgrimages to France in 2002, Thessaly (Greece) in 2004, Moldavia in 2005, and Finland/Russia in 2006, the Friends of Mount Athos are now organizing a fifth excursion/pilgrimage, this time to Turkey (October 2007).

Our itinerary will provide opportunities for participants to visit the major Byzantine sites and places of religious significance in Constantinople and its districts. Space for shopping at the famous bazaars will inevitably be included in the programme.

It is hoped that we shall spend a half-day on the island of Halki (Heybeliada) in order to spend some time both at the Holy Trinity Monastery and at the celebrated Theological School. A lecture to be delivered in the beautiful auditorium at Halki has been suggested as an intellectual interlude.

We shall also travel by air to Kayseri (Caesarea) in order to proceed to the cave and other churches and monasteries of Cappadocia and to some of the villages that were evacuated during the population exchange of 1923. Destinations will include the Devrent Valley, the Zelve Open-air Museum, Monks' Valley (Pasabagi) with its renowned fairy chimneys, Avanos, the Göreme Open-air Museum, the Rose Valley with its churches, Cavusin, Uchisar, etc.

His All-Holiness, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew is waiting to receive the group in the City on two occasions: once at a private afternoon audience at the Patriarchate in the Phanar (Saturday 27 October), to be followed by Vespers at the Cathedral of Saint George, and again at the parish Church of Saint Dimitrios (Kuruce?me Aya Dimitri Rum Ortodoks Kilisesi) on Sunday morning for the Divine Liturgy. The Patriarch will celebrate the services on both occasions.

Team leader will be Bishop Kallistos. The maximum number of participants will be twenty-five.

FoMA members interested in participating should contact Dimitri Conomos.