• What is a monastery?

    There are monasteries in almost every region of Russia. They are considered symbols of solitude, ascetic lifestyle, centers of spirituality. Every year, many pilgrims visit the monastery in order to strengthen their faith and worship Christian shrines. So what is a monastery?

    History of

    The time of appearance of the monasteries belongs to the 1st millennium BC. er These were communities of Buddhist hermits in India, from where they spread to Thailand, China, and Japan. Monasteries in Asia became centers of spiritual and political life, and the development of martial arts made them a significant military force.

    The history of Christian monasteries begins with appearing in Egypt in the III. hermit settlements (monasthrion - “hermit's cell”), who sought to escape from worldly temptations, to take the path of prayer life, in order to earn salvation.

    The founder of Christian monasticism is considered to be Anthony the Great, retiring to preserve the purity of faith. Apprentices came to an old man who had departed from the world, some settled nearby, spending time in prayer and fasting. In the IV.hostel monasteries appeared where hermits lived together and obeyed the general rules. The first such community was founded by Pachomius the Great.

    Gradually, monasteries began to appear in Palestine, Byzantium, the Mediterranean, and then in Europe.

    Monasteries in Russia

    In Russia, the emergence of monasteries is associated with the adoption of Christianity by Prince Vladimir of Kiev. The first monastery mentioned in the chronicle is the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra (XI century). Then the monasteries were founded in other principalities.

    The monasteries became centers of enlightenment and culture, where chronicles were kept, books were collected. Handicraft workshops were organized there, the famous icon painters F. Grek, Dionysius, A. Rublev worked. Monasteries were transformed into large landowners, contributing to the development of feudal relations. And impregnable monastic walls often served as fortresses, delaying the enemy.

    Monastery life

    What is life in a monastery? The whole schedule is subject to the monastic charter. It consists of a liturgical section (the schedule of worship), instructions on spiritual development and a description of responsibilities.Any work or position in a monastery is called obedience.

    There are three kinds of life in the monastery: obedience, monasticism, and scheming. First deciding to take a monastic vow must pass a probationary period (3 years). He becomes a novice: lives in a monastery, performs various duties and prepares for the tonsure. After that, the novice becomes a monk (small schema). And only after another 4 years he can attain the highest degree - the great tonsure (the great schema), that is, he can become a chymon.

    What are they doing in the monastery? A day at the monastery begins at dawn and lasts until night. Divine services and prayers take a few hours and require a great deal of exertion. Since most of the monasteries are self-sufficient, all work is done by the monks. This cultivation of the garden, work in the barnyard and in the laundry, cooking, etc. In the monasteries there is no such worldly entertainment as newspapers, radio, television.

    Monasteries in modern Russia

    Monasteries are male and female. The monastery is headed by the abbot (archimandrite, abbot, hieromonk), and the female monastery is the prioress (abbess). The statutes of these monasteries are no different.Both men and women who have been tonsured take vows of obedience, non-possession (abandonment of property) and celibacy.

    Now in the Russian Orthodox Church more than 800 monasteries. The most famous male Orthodox monasteries in Russia are: Donskoy and Svyato-Danilov in Moscow, the Trinity-Sergius Lavra in the Moscow Region, the Holy Dormition Pskovo-Pechersky (Pskov), the Solovetsky Monastery in honor of the Transfiguration of God (Arkhangelsk region). Convents: Marfo-Mariinsky Convent, Novodevichy (Moscow), Tikhvin and Mariinsky (Leningrad Region), Goritsky Resurrection (Vologda Region), etc.

    Having learned what a monastery is, how difficult and devoid of all conveniences a monastery life is, you probably understand why monasticism is called "bloodless martyrdom."


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