An ideal

Extension and  development project Monastère de la Transfiguration

A monastery

A challenge

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Origin and location
of the monastery

The women's Orthodox monastery was set-up in Perigord, in Terrasson-Lavilledieu (Dordogne) in 1990 in a farmhouse surrounded by agricultural buildings and its walnut plantations. And a favourable and providential opportunity enabled the community to find there a location of choice that has since proved conducive to its development.

Spiritual roots at Mount Athos

The Monastery of the Transfiguration is a subsidiary of Mount Athos (Greece), an autonomous monastic republic among the most influential since its founding in the tenth century, and currently one of the most vigorous. Now legally recognised by the European Community, the mountainous peninsula where Mount Athos rises to 2,033 meters above sea level has about 2,000 monks living in twenty large monasteries and and many hermitages and skites: a situation which sometimes earned it the name "Christian Tibet".

This spiritual affiliation, fuelled by frequent stays in the monasteries of Simonopetra and Ormylia, its female Metochion, directs the Monastery of the Transfiguration to privileged relations with the Greek world, the source of our Orthodoxy. Thus the monastery maintains many fraternal contacts mainly in Greece, but also in the countries of the "diaspora" with the Greek-speaking and in the Balkan countries (Serbia, Montenegro), even during the sad and recent war. At the monastery, the services are sung from liturgical texts translated from Greek into French and adapted to psaltic, the Byzantine music.

Canonical situation

The monastery is a dependency (Metochion) of the Simonopetra Monastery, one of the twenty monastic communities that form the Holy Mountain of Athos. In France, it is placed under the control and benevolent spiritual authority of the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of France, today His Excellency the Metropolitan Emmanuel, whose headquarters are located at No. 7, rue Georges Bizet, Paris 16th.

Geographical location

Located east of Brive-la-Gaillarde, the monastery occupies a land of 28 acres atop a hill, on shallow soil (fields with poor production). Half of the land is composed of thickets, moors and small woods. The old farmhouse has been dependent on the nearby castle of Montmeige, where its name "La Vacherie" or "La Vasserie" would have come from. In addition to the main are are the grottos of Saint-Sour. Acquired and restored by the community, these grottos are named after the holy hermit who founded the Abbey of Terrasson-Lavilledieu in the fifth century.

In 1978, the Archimandrite Aimilianos, abbot of the Simonopetra monastery, sent three French monks to their country so that they could create metochia (dependencies). Among them, Father Élie founded the Monastery of the Transfiguration in Martel, in the Lot.

The Archimandrite Aimilianos is one of the main artisans of the renewal of the monastic life in Greece over the last forty years. Founder of two communities he transferred to the monasteries of Simonopetra and Ormylia, he is one of the great figures of contemporary Orthodoxy. A multitude of spiritual children have responded to God's call through his mediation.