The Orthodox Church commemorates today Saints Athanasius the Athonite and Lampadus the Wonderworker and Hieromartyr Stephen of Rhegium.
Saint Athanasius, who was born in the city of Trebizond, was descendant of a pious and wealthy family. He was given an excellent education. In particular, he completed his studies in some of the most well-known education institutions of Constantinople. There, he decided to become a monk and to follow an ascetic way of life aiming the union with God. He, therefore, headed to Mount Kyminas in Asia Minor, to a monastery which was named after its abbot, Michael Maleinos.
Even though Saint Athanasius stayed in the monastery for a short period of time, he was thoroughly tested. He distinguished himself for his virtues and for his ascetic way of life. Hence, having reached the maximum “level” of virtue and given the fact that he was being honoured by all, he decided to leave and go to Mount Athos near an ascetic, whom he was obeying with great humility.
He later decided to leave and practice asceticism on his own in the innermost parts of Mount Athos. Following many requests from Emperor Nicephorus Phocas, he built a church in honour of the Virgin Mary, as well as many cells for the monks. After many efforts and sacrifices, he created the Holy Monastery of Great Lavra, which is the oldest monastery on Mount Athos. There, we commemorate its founder, Saint Athanasius.
Saint Athanasius reposed in the Lord when he was making a tremendous effort. In particular, the roof of the church of the monastery needed to be rebuilt. Saint Athanasius, despite his age, climbed on the roof that collapsed killing the Saint as well as other monks of the monastery.
Source: Church of Cyprus