The Monastery

The Church of St. George on the opposite hill

The Church of St. George, built on the hill west of the Monastery, was completed in 1850. According to oral tradition, the mule carrying the miraculous Arabian icon of St. George stopped at that place.
In the 12th century, Bedouins from Jordan Arabia massacred Christians near the city of Lydda and plundered their houses. One pious Christian, in order to preserve the holy icon from desecration, dropped it into the sea. The icon sailed alone for an unknown time and came to the arsanas (harbour) of the Vatopedi Monastery. When it was spotted, boats from various monasteries entered the sea to take it, but it moved away. But when a pious Elder from the Zograf Monastery entered, it came near and was pulled ashore.
A great dispute arose between many monks from different monasteries, each wanting to take this treasure to its own monastery. Since they could not come to an agreement, the fathers sought to find out which monastery the Holy Trophy-Bearer himself would favour. In the end, they decided to put it on a young mule and let it go freely, and wherever it stopped - there they would leave the icon.
When they had loaded it, without being led or directed, it headed with a steady and calm pace towards the Holy Monastery of Zograf. It climbed the hill to the west of the Monastery and there remained motionless. Seeing this miraculous deed, the Athonite fathers left the icon in the Zograf Monastery and solemnly - with censers, candles and hymns - carried it to the katholikon and placed it by the left pillar of it, where it stands to this day for the honest worship of all.
A church was built then on the hill to commemorate the miraculous event.
There are monastic cells next to the church. A school for young novices and monks functioned 
there in the 19th century.