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Athos Holy Mount

Greek Documents
13.50 Sigillion of the Patriarch and Synod (Patriarch Cyril V)
Vatopedi Monastery, Archives
Parchment, 85.5 x 66 cm
The lead seal of Patriarch Cyril V is suspended from the bottom of the document on a blue cord.


The Original New Testament

Moved by divine zeal, the fathers of the Vatopedi Monastery have, as ardent lovers of learning and education, unanimously decided to found an establishment to provide instruction in Greek and education in all sciences secular and theological. For this purpose they have erected a large building adjacent to the Monastery and appointed an experienced schoolmaster able to teach subjects both secular and theological. They have further ordered that the school be open not only to the monks of Vatopedi but to monks from all the Athonite foundations, and indeed to any other person, lay or religious, who is desirous of learning and has the aptitude and the ability for it. They have thus 'created a common academy of virtue and education and instruction.' Although the Monastery has already expended vast sums, more money is needed to complete the construction of the building, to pay the salaries of the teachers and to provide for the needs of the students.

For this purpose, and to enable the School to operate smoothly, they are seeking the assistance of the Great Church. The Patriarch and the Synod rejoice in this initiative and welcome the decision of the Vatopedi Monastery to found a school not only for the monastic community of Mount Athos but for all Orthodox Christendom.

The Patriarch and the Synod resolve as follows: a) to appoint four trustees for the School in Constantinople, to wit, the Metropolitan of Heracleia and the Metropolitan of Nicomedeia, plus two prominent members of the furriers' guild who shall be responsible for collecting donations and forwarding them to the Monastery. It is further decided that Meletios of Vatopedi, who presided over the founding of the School, shall serve as a permanent trustee; b) of the ecclesiastical dues paid to the Patriarchate, the sum of 24,000 aspers annually shall be forwarded for the use of the School; c) the teacher appointed shall be responsible for the instruction of the students. No monk from any other Monastery shall be accepted without the permission of his Superiors. The selection of students from outside Mount Athos shall be based on their character and their thirst for learning; d) the trustees shall not only be responsible for the finances of the School but shall also see that it is run in a proper and a Christian manner; e) after the death of Meletios, the Vatopedi Monastery shall elect each successive local trustee, who shall be duly appointed by the Patriarch.

Bibliography: Foropoulos 1900, pp. 395-8.

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