Earlier in the week, we shared the fantastic Monastery of St. Sava with Christina Luzak. If you didn’t see that article, do yourself a favor and go read Christina’s amazing story. It will help you appreciate this article more and show you just how amazing travel can be.
Today, we are sharing an even more remote Monastery from the Judaean Desert: the Monastery of Chariton (or Khariton).
Monastery of st. chariton
The Monastery of St. Chariton dates back to the fourth century. It is said to have been founded by Chariton the Confessor, who was captured on his return to Jerusalem by a group of robbers. Chariton was forced into captivity with the robbers as they hid out in the Paransky cave. Legend has it the robbers died when they drank poisoned wine and only Chariton survived. Afterwards, he decided to stay in the cave, adopting it has a monk’s shelter.
Christina shares the modern history of the Russian Orthodox Monastery as follows:
“In 1865 the monastery was explored by Archimandrite Leonid (Kavelin) and his monastic group. They found a cave with seven holes, later rebuilding a skete on this place. Now in the monastery there lives only one monk, who, according to him, built the monastery anew with his own hands. And it was pretty hard to get inside – this kind of “stairs” were horrible !! So I have no idea “how” he did everything by himself … “
tips for traveling in the desert
Christina’s visit to the Holy Land was not just a normal tourist experience, she lived and traveled through the desert for an extended period of time, visiting remote places and having amazing experiences. She says they did best by starting the day at 4:00, drinking lots of water, and walking by 4:30 to reach destinations before it was too hot. Obviously, water is very very important. It is important to watch the weather and not get stuck walking in a storm. She says they had the best luck treating sunburns with olive oil. In the desert, you want to wear light colors and always cover your head. Christina share’s some advice to blonde women like herself: cover all your hair and some of your face as the men in the desert do not see many women. She also says to be careful not to pay them attention as they can interpret your intention as a sign of something more.
Christina tags herself as a Russian girl living in Germany. Follow her on Instagram for more of her great stories. The image below shows Christina on her return to Israel from the monasteries in the wilderness. You definitely want to read more about her story here.