Lermontov - To my country
Whatever dubious reason may protesting cry;
The shame alone of all her blood bought glory,
Her haughty self-assurance, conscious pride,
And the ancestral faith's traditions dark,
With woe have penetrated all my heart.
In the beautiful island of Halki, one of the famous Prince Islands, on the hill of Hope, the highest point of the island, is the famous Monastery of Holy Trinity and the Theological School of Halki. The Monastery allegedly, was founded by Patriarch Photius in the 9th century while being also Stavropegic and dependent directly from the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Inside the monastery was founded in 1844, along with the renovation of it, the Theological School of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, by the Ecumenical Patriarch Germanos 4th. After its destruction in 1894 by a fierce earthquake , expat Pavlos Skylitsis Stefanovic made available the necessary funds for the restoration of the Monastery and School.
Behind the sanctuary of the church, are the tombs of patriarchs, metropolitans, priests and teachers of the School.
The school had originally seven classes, four high school and three theological ones. The prestige and the level of the School were such, that many of the graduates continued their specialties at Russia and universities of the West. Meanwhile, the students came from all latitudes and longitudes of the world where Orthodoxy and Hellenism existed.
The financial maintenance of the School was ensured by the annual contribution of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, of Bishops and other clergy and monasteries. It was this multilevel support that allowed the Monastery to maintain at its premises, its brilliant library of thousands of volumes.
In 1971, unfortunately, was banned by the Turkish Ministry of Education, the function of the theological section .That led in 1984 to the discontinuation of operation for the high school section. Since then, constant is the struggle of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, of the School and of people from the world of Orthodoxy, Hellenism and Letters as well, for its reopening.
We deeply thank the Bishop of Prousi and Abbot of the Holy Monastery and School of Halki mr. Elpidoforo for his guidance , his license to include the Monastery to our guide and finally for his hospitality.