The Skete of Announciation (Xenophontos)

Built on an idyllic forested slope of the western bank of the Puranta stream, which flows adjacent to the Holy Monastery of St. Panteleimon (Rusikon), the Hermitage of the Holy Xenofont Monastery at an altitude of 260 m overlooks the Gulf of Sighnitiki and the Sithonia peninsula. The skete is dedicated to the Announciation of Theotokos.

The Kyriakon (central church) was built after 1750, at the expense of the renowned Archimandrite and spiritual father Silvester from Arta, assisted by the elders Ephraim Zagorianos and Agapios Tsaritsaniotis. In 1766, the Elders themselves took care of the iconostasis of the church “made by the hand of Constantine and Athanasius” from Koritsa in Northern Epirus. Today the Kyriakon after a long time when it clearly needed major renovations has been somewhat rehabilitated. In 1901, the already damaged narthex was demolished and a new nave and pronaos were erected. A little earlier, in 1896, the bell tower was erected.

Around the Kyriakon there are a significant number of huts, most of them abandoned due to the small number of the fraternity, which today lives in the Skete. Contributing to this is also the fact that the basement of the complex and the larger area is particularly volatile with manifestations of vibrations and displacements of the earth, which discourages the arrival of monks to the skete. It is generally known as the “forgotten hermitage” even though today most of the huts have been renovated and there is a spiritual life.

In the Skete and more precisely in the Hut with the dedication of the Ascension of the Lord, there was a famous book link – one of the most famous in Mount Athos. Its library contains 350 codes (manuscripts) and over 550 important publications. The Rules of Procedure of the Skete, consisting of 20 articles, were drafted on October 20, 1839 under the leadership of Dikaios Nichephorus.

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