Mount Athos: The litany of the icon of “Axion Esti” took place with restrictions, due to coronavirus measures

With a small number of monks, compared to previous years, and without the presence of lay visitors, the procession of the historic icon of the Virgin Mary “Axion Esti” took place on Monday morning, in Karyes of Mount Athos.

The procession of the icon began after the Divine Liturgy, at ten in the morning, with the established formality, with bells ringing and chanting, from the Protaton church.

The icon was accompanied by the four members of the Holy Administration (Iera Epistasia) and about seventy monks and priests, keeping the necessary distances. The procession passed through the various monastic quarters -Konakia (Ibiriko, Pantokratorino, etc.) and cells near Karyes, as well as from the Koutloumousiou monastery, before returning to Karyes.

This year, due to the measures to avoid the spread of the coronavirus, only the members of the Holy Administration entered the indoor spaces with the icon. The custom of treats offered by the monks with the arrival of the procession in their cells was not observed either, with the exception of few cases, where the food was packaged.