Mount Athos has already closed its gates to pilgrims since March 19 in accordance with a joint decision by the ministries of education and health.
Deputy Civil Governor Aristos Kasmiroglou delivered the document to the Holy Community, while earlier the Holy Community, the highest governing body of Mount Athos, accepted the relevant government decision at its meeting.
Due to the suspension of entry, no entry permits are issued by the competent offices in Ouranoupolis and Thessaloniki, but the movement of products to and from Athos is normally conducted, ANA-MPA reports.
The religious services are still carried out without the presence of lay worshipers at the twenty monasteries and most of the more cells.
It is reminded that a vigil was held on Mount Athos in a wholesome atmosphere of respect for our Most Holy Lady, Virgin Mary, and Saint Charalambos concerning the coronavirus pandemic.
As the coronavirus has become a scourge worldwide, the Orthodox Church said a special prayer of Metropolitan of Edessa for the protection of the faithful.
On Friday evening, 27 March 2020, a vigil for the coronavirus was held at all the monasteries of Mount Athos and Meteora to the Virgin Mary and Saint Charalambos, who is the patron saint against epidemics. His scalp is kept in the holy monastery of Saint Stephen at Meteora. In this way the monks united their prayers, asking the Virgin Mary to help and protect us from the coronavirus pandemic.
As it has been announced, a procession of the relics and the miraculous icons of each monastery was held on Mount Athos, and special prayers and supplications were read in Meteora for the support of those fighting at the front line against the coronavirus. It should be noted that pilgrims weren’t allowed to enter and the services were held behind closed doors.
The prayer of the Metropolitan of Edessa about the coronavirus is the following:
O Lord Jesus Christ, Our God, healer of soul and body, for us humans You became human to heal any wound. You did not ignore the hopelessly sick and You healed ten men with leprosy, You saved them and cleansed them. You came down to Earth as God-man and in Your presence, all the sick recovered. You can cure all types of ailments, You help them recover, the paralysed, the blind, the sinners of the spirit and flesh. Oh Our Lord, accept our prayer graciously and repel by Your power the deadly virus the shape of which takes the form of a crown and which terrifies and kills the sick and the people who suffer.
And if in the midst of many of our sins, You allowed this temptation, we are begging you, show mercy on us, and make this virus disappear from the world.
If You are testing the faith of the faithful through this trial, please, heal the people, who suffer from this virus.
And if the virus was spread due to the wickedness and the negligence of the people, please, destroy it, Lord God Almighty!
Protect the youth, take care of the sick and the elderly. Heal us from this deadly virus and make it disappear forever. Please, heal us with the help of the Theotokos and all saints!