Friday, May 13, 2016

Athonite Martyrs killed by the Latins at the Iveron Monastery

One of the things not popularly recognized by people is that numerous crusades often involved crusaders attacking fellow Christians. Wealthy merchants paid to redirect ships bound for the Middle East to land in Italy to do battle, they fought Bulgarian Christians numerous times when crossing through their lands, they attacked the "Byzantine" empire (often having been paid by other Byzantines to do so), and they attacked Mount Athos.

(Holy Trinity Calendar) - Martyrs killed by the Latins at the Iveron Monastery on Mt. Athos. Commemorated on May 13.

Georgian monks began to settle on Mt. Athos in the middle of the 10th century, and a Georgian monastery, Iveron, was founded there not long after.

At that time foreign armies were constantly invading Mt. Athos. In the 13th century the Crusaders stormed through the region, and between 1259 and 1306 the pope’s private army devastated Mt. Athos several times. Monks of Zographou and Vatopedi monasteries and the Protaton were martyred for the Orthodox Faith, and the monks of the Iveron Monastery eventually met the same fate.

During this period Georgian and Greek ascetics labored together at the Iveron Monastery, and many young ascetics of the new generation began to arrive from Georgia.

The Crusaders demanded that the Iveron monks convert to Catholicism and acknowledge the primacy of the Roman pope. But the monks condemned their fallacies and anathematized the doctrine of the Catholics.

According to the Patericon of Athos, the Iveron monks were forcibly expelled from their monastery. Nearly two hundred elderly monks were goaded like animals onto a ship that was subsequently sunk in the depths of the sea. The younger, healthier monks were deported to Italy and sold as slaves to the Jews.

Some sources claim this tragedy took place in the year 1259, while others record that the Georgian monks of the Holy Mountain were subject to the Latin persecutions over the course of four years, from 1276 to 1280.


  1. “As Bishop of Rome and Shepherd of the Catholic Church, I plead for mercy and forgiveness for non-evangelical behaviors by Catholics against Christians of other churches...We cannot undo what was done in the past, but we don’t want to allow the weight of past sins to pollute our relationships...The mercy of God will renew our relations.” Pope Francis.

  2. At the same, it fair to ask: what is the actual point of such posts? The accuracy of the narrative is probably better than the story of Peter the Aleut, at least a little. But does anyone post on Basil the Bulgarian Slayer and others of similar ilk?

    If the idea is to cultivate a uncritical antipathy toward Catholics, I can see the value of such a post. If not, then what is the point?

    1. This isn't a news site. This is a blog. I'm not getting paid to do this, there's no board of directors, or an ombudsman. I read the saints of the day, much like others do, and when something sparks an interest I am inclined to post it. I don't think any Orthodox people are going to dislike Catholics more for it, and I really don't know what a Catholic would get from this blog anyway.