Dochiariou monastery, the monastery of Archangels, is one of the prettiest monasteries on Mount Athos, located by the sea on the western side of the peninsula and being the first monastery the pilgrim can see while entering Mount on ship from Ouranoupolis.
The compound starts with the Dining hall (old and new) and ends in the highest point with a tall tower predominating over the place. Considerably tall is also the Catholicon (the central church) dedicated to Ss. Archangels Gabriel and Michael) raised on the walls of the older church.
The monastery was founded in the late 10th century by Euthymios, a disciple of Saint Athanasios, who was previously a monk in Great Lavra; there Euthymios had the ministry of the oil repository, named dochiarios, which gave the name to the monastery. In the middle 16th century (1568), the Catholicon and the Dining hall were built. The decoration of the Catholicon, i.e. the main church, dated back to 1568, while of the dining hall to 1676 and 1700.
Besides the 16th century frescoes, there are also frescoes from the 18th century adorning the outer narthex. Remarkable is also the library of the monastery that holds many important historical documents and more than 400 manuscripts.
The holy icon of Theotokos Gorgoypecoos (Quick to Hear)
Next to Theotokos Portaitissa of Iviron monastery and Theotokos Axion Esti, the most well-known miraculous icon on Mount Athos is the ancient fresco of the Theotokos located in Dochiariou monastery, out of the eastern wall of the Dining hall and right of the entrance.
In 1646, the dining hall servant monk Nilos, who passed regularly in front of the icon holding lit torches for his ministry in the dining hall, heard a voice telling him: “Pass no more with torches smoking my icon”. Nilos paid no attention to the voice, but it was soon heard again rebuking the monk and leaving him blind. The brothers started to pass in front of the icon with great reverence, hung a never-burning-out candle in front of her and commanded the new dining hall servant to cense her day to day.
Blind Nilos spended his time in a pew in front of the icon, beseeching Theotokos to forgive him and cure him; finally, this happened, when for the third time, a voice came out of the icon informing Nilos that his prayer was heard. “She hears quickly, because her name is Quick to Hear” (Gorgoypecoos, commemorating on October 1st). Soon, the miracle and Theotokos’s promise became known on the whole Mount Athos and her icon became a panathonite place of pilgrimage.
The corridor was immured and the icon was enclosed in a chapel built on the right of her. Her miracles are innumerable and a special receptor monk serves the needs of the many pilgrims.
Her grace is working many wonders not only in Mount Athos, but also out of it, in cities and villages across Greece, where there are copies of the icon.