First Orthodox Monastery Opened in South Africa

Fr. John A. Peck | 04 February 2018
Hartbeespoort, South Africa, February 2, 2018

His Beatitude Theodore II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa arrived to South Africa on January 19 to take part in the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Archdiocese of the Cape of Good Hope (1968-2018). The primate’s mission trip also included visitations to Namibia and Kenya.

The patriarch, accompanied by Metropolitan Damascene of Johannesburg and Pretoria and Bishop Nikodimos of Nitria, also visited the newly-built Monastery of Sts. Nicholas the Wonderworker, Nektarios of Aegina, and Paisios the Athonite near Hartbeespoort, 40 miles north of Johannesburg, reports AgionOros.

The festivities were also attended by the Ambassador and General Consul of Greece in South Africa, Church and public figures, and a host of clergy and faithful.

The first monastery in South Africa was built by the labors of Metropolitan Seraphim of Johannesburg (now heading the Diocese of Zimbabwe and Angola) in the desert place about an hour’s drive from the capital.

There are currently five nuns laboring in the monastery. The spiritual father for the holy habitation is Archimandrite Apostol Apostolakis, who also founded two other convents in Kenya and Tanzania.

During his visit, the Alexandrian patriarch officially enthroned the first abbess of the South African monastery, Nun Ortodoxia.

During his sermon, the patriarch stressed that monasticism “is not disdain for the world, but an exhortation for its transfiguration—a transfiguration in Christ, and for salvation.”

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