The Friends of Mount Athos


Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia

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Pilgrimage to St Catherine's, Mount Sinai,
and the Coptic Monasteries
25 October – 2 November 2008

Following the highly successful pilgrimages to France in 2002, Thessaly (Greece) in 2004, Moldavia in 2005, Finland/Russia in 2006, and Turkey in 2007 the Friends of Mount Athos are now organizing a sixth pilgrimage, this time to Egypt (October/November 2008).

Our itinerary will provide opportunities for participants to visit the major Coptic and Byzantine sites and places of religious significance in the Sinai Peninsula, the Egyptian desert, and Cairo. It is intended that we shall spend four nights in the Sinai Peninsula – chiefly at St Catherine's: the church with its ancient icons, mosaics, and treasures, the relics of St Catherine, the magnificent ancient library, the site of the Burning Bush, Mount Moses, as well as at the dependent sketes and caves. The group will be greeted by the Abbot, Archbishop Damianos.

The remaining four nights will be spent in Cairo. From there we shall make forays to the Wadi el-Natrun (the Monasteries of St Macarius, St Bishoi, the Syrians, and Al-Baramus) and the Red Sea Mountains (St Antony's and St Paul's monasteries). The group will also visit old Coptic churches, the Coptic Museum, and other venues of historical, archaeological, and cultural interest. We hope to have audiences with His Holiness Pope Shenouda III and His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros II.

Team leader will be Metropolitan Kallistos and we are also honoured that Fr Symeon from the Monastery of St John the Baptist, Essex (a frequent visitor to St Catherine?s), has agreed to join us. The maximum number of participants will be fifty.

FoMA members interested in participating should contact Dimitri Conomos.