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View from a Cliff

From the edge of a cliff, the monastery can be seen far below just at sunrise.

Chapels in Dappled Sunlight

The Chapel of Saint Gregory of Sinai viewed from a precipice above, and in the distance, the Chapel of Saint John the Forerunner.

Sinai Hawthorn Blossoms

The Sinai hawthorn tree has small white blossoms. These later set berries that turn red when they are ripe.

Chapel of Saint John the Forerunner

The Chapel of Saint John the Forerunner, on the high Sinai plateau. It is a short distance from the Chapel of Saint Gregory of Sinai. The tree to the left is a Sinai hawthorn (Crataegus sinaica).

A Single Candle

The Chapel of Saint Anne at night, lit by a single candle.

Holy Pascha

The holy night of Pascha. We had pilgrims from Egypt, from Greece, and from Russia. There were many Russian children, a new development for this ancient monastery.

Νυνὶ δὲ Χριστὸς ἐγήγερται ἐκ νεκρῶν, ἀπαρχὴ τῶν κεκοιμημένων ἐγένετο.

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

1 Corinthians 15:20

Holy and Great Friday

Chanting the Lamentations before the epitaphios on Holy and Great Friday

Ὡς φωτὸς λυχνία νῦν ἡ σὰρξ τοῦ Θεοῦ ὑπὸ γῆν ὡς ὑπὸ μόδιον κρύπτεται καὶ διώκει τὸν ἐν ᾅδῃ σκοτασμόν.

As a lamp of light hid beneath a bushel, now is God’s flesh hid beneath the earth, and it driveth away the darkness that is in hades.

Twisted Almond Tree in Dappled Sunshine

The twisted almond tree under a cloudy sky, creating dappled sunshine.

With regard to patience the Lord says, ‘In your patience possess ye your souls’. He did not say ‘in your fasting’ or ‘in your vigils’. I refer to the patience bestowed by God, which is the queen of virtues, the foundation of courageous actions. It is patience that is peace amid strife, serenity amid distress, and a steadfast base for those who acquire it.

Saint Gregory of Sinai

Twisted Almond Tree in Late Afternoon

The twisted almond tree at the Chapel of Saint Gregory of Sinai as the shadows lengthen in late afternoon.

Christ is the capstone uniting us with Himself. He is the pearl of great price: it is this for which the monk seeks when he plunges into the depths of stillness and it is this for which he sells all his own desires through obedience to the commandments, so that he may acquire it even in this life.

Saint Gregory of Sinai

Twisted Almond Tree at Sunrise

The almond tree growing next to the Chapel of Saint Gregory of Sinai, on the high Sinai plateau, has a gnarled and twisted trunk. The location can be cold and windy. Even so, it manages to bloom every spring.