04 September 2008, 13:00
Swinging icon-lamp in Athos monastery announced S.Ossetian tragedy - daily
Moscow, September 4, Interfax - A silver lamp before royal doors in the cathedral of the Iveron Monastery in Mount Athos started swinging back and forth early in August not long before Georgian troops attacked Tskhinvali.
Athos monks claim that the icon-lamp has started swinging by itself during many centuries on the eve of great disasters and trials, the Zhizn daily writes.
The lamp was swinging before the six-day war in Israel, an earthquake in Armenia, and before American troops invaded Iraq it was swinging so much that oil almost splashed out, the paper says.
When the lamp starts swinging, all monasteries of the Holy Mount are informed of it. Priests and monks intensify their prayers to the Holy Virgin and ask her to grant mercy and protect from trouble.
Georgian monks from the Bagration dynasty founded the Iveron monastery, which is the third important monastery in Athos. Few Georgian monks remained in the monastery in the 19th century in the result of political coups in the Caucasus and Greeks started administering the monastery. The last Georgian priest died here in 1955.
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