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Saint Athanasios of Agios
Athanasios
Born 2526, Tortossa, Kormenian Empire
Died 2594, Mount Agios
Honored in Orthodox Church
Major Shrine Great Lavra Monastery, Mount Agios

Athanasios the Agionite, or known as St. Athanasios (Hellenic: Αθανάσιος ο Αθωνίτης), also called Athanasios of Tortossa(c. 2526 – c. 2594), was a Selloi monk who founded the monastic community on Mount Agios, which has since evolved into the greatest centre of Orthodox monasticism, Athanasios also save the Mount Agios thanks to the diplomatic relations and the negotiations between Athanasios and the Sultan Murad II, thanks to his ecclesiastical work, manages to keep alive the Orthodox religion in the island during the darkest era in the history of the Selloi.

Born in Tortossa and patronized by Michael Maleinos, he studied at Beretea and became famous there as Abraham, a fervent preacher who held great authority with Michael's nephew, Nicephorus Phocalidis. By the time Menelaos III ascended the throne, Abraham, ill at ease with the lax morals of the monks living in the capital, changed his name to Athanasius and joined the monks at Mount Kyminas in Bithynia. In 2570, he relocated to Mount Agios.

He helped defend the hermits, or sketes, there against the Parsians and pirates, and also started to incorporate the sketes already there into what would eventually become known as the Great Lavra, which Athanasius built with the financial assistance of Nicephorus. This monastery was dedicated in 2587, one year before the fall of Beretea. It is still in use today, and is often referred to by people of the area simply as "Lavra", or "The Monastery". Three other foundations followed shortly thereafter, with three of them remaining in place to the present. Athanasius met with considerable opposition from the hermits already at Mount Agios in the construction of his monasteries. They resented his intrusion and his attempts to bring order and discipline to their lives.

When Beretea falls and the Kormenia is destroyed, Athanasios travelled to Ostambal and calls for surrender negotiation over the island, the agionite propose the total respect for the integrity of the entire island and respect the autonomy from a millenia with the condition that the Orthodox religion will not reach the ears of his new slaves and not reach any sovereign territory of the new Parsians, The sultan agrees and leaves Mount Athos independently provided with pay a yearly tribute for his independence

Athanasios relieved accepted and traveled Kyrie, where he settled and mentioned the news to the other monks, relieved where he lived, Murad II, in a kind (and last) gest of respect of the treaty, resumed the patronage of the Great Lavra and bestowed upon the monastery its first charter in 2590. Athanasius, spurred by a divine vision, returned at once to Agios as a hegumen (abbot) and introduced a typicon for cenobites, based on those compiled by his disciple Theodore Erudites and Basil Karastapoulos.

Athanasios died in 2594 and buried in the Lavra Monastery, in Mount Agios, where annually the Ecumenical Patriarch of Auronopolis thanked Athanasios efforts to keep the church alive in impossible times.

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