I’m writing to you this week about Holy Mt. Athos, featured in a segment of CBS News’ “60 Minutes” recently and also in my new book and feature film, “Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer.”

Mt. Athos has only male monks, no women allowed, although it’s been said a few have been there dressed as men.  Why?  Here’s the story, from my book, chapter 4 on Mt. Athos:

“An old and venerable tradition claims that after Jesus Christ ascended into heaven, the Virgin Mary and St John the Apostle sailed to Cyprus to visit Lazarus, the man Christ raised from the dead, and who was now bishop of the island. A storm at sea forced Our Lady and the Beloved Disciple to shelter in a bay at the foot of Mount Athos, near the spot where the Monastery of Iviron stands today. Delighted by the beauty of the mountain, Mary asked her Son to give it to her, and Jesus acquiesced. “Let this place be your lot,” He said, “your garden and your paradise, as well as a salvation, a haven for those who seek salvation.” Ever since, Mount Athos has been known as the Garden of the Virgin Mary.”

What do YOU think?  Should women be allowed on the sacred peninsula of Mt. Athos?  Please comment below.

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Unlock the Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer.  Join the hermits, monks and nuns in peaceful silence and prayer with my new book and feature film.  Available now in bookstores everywhere, and on our website, www.JesusPrayerMovie.com

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