Merry Christmas! May you enjoy this festive time, especially on this “old civil new year’s day,” which is also the feast of Christ’s Circumcision and of Saint Basil the Great.
For today, I offer an older French documentary film directed by Jacques Valentin about the Holy Mountain, Les Moines du Mont-Athos.
The film is easy to follow if you know French; it is paced forgivingly for fringe Francophones.
I learnt a new fact while watching the documentary—there are female cats on Mount Athos. I never knew that there was an exception to the exclusion of female humans and domesticated animals—besides the Theotokos, of course. However, cats of both sexes inhabit the autonomous peninsula, and their endless generations are there to manage the vermin. Therefore, my longstanding qualification for a monastery’s true Orthodoxy—the significant presence of cats—has additional Athonite authority. Unfortunately, the conspicuous absence of goats does make me question the Holy Mountain’s commitment to the faith. Monasteries have to come cum cattis caprisque.
A quick online search found an esempio felinissimo:
I suggest that Orthodox apologists include this widespread miracle that attests to the trueness of our faith—that the Orthodox religion even sanctifies the typically ungodly and demonically proud cat. ὅπερ ἔδει δεῖξαι.