Saint Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery, 4784 North St. Joseph's Way, Florence, AZ 85132, 520-868-3188

Guide for Pilgrims (Overnight Guests)

This page contains guidelines for staying one or more nights at the Monastery. Please also refer to the day visitor guidelines as they apply to overnight guests as well.

Making Your Plans

Pilgrims are asked to contact the Monastery to inquire about room availability before making travel arrangements.

You have a blessing to stay from one to seven days. Any length of stay over seven days must receive a blessing from our Monastery's abbot before any travel arrangements are made.

Pilgrims can arrange for transportation from the airport to the monastery by contacting Theodore at 330-949-9322, Fr. Basil at 520-709-3993, Timothy at 520-431-2688, or Florence Shuttle at 480-580-3438. Please call in advance of your trip.

Your Arrival

We ask that you arrive at the Monastery between the hours of 8 AM and 5 PM.

Guest Houses

Pilgrims are welcome to partake of all the food provided in the guesthouse.

Please also follow these rules:

  • Label all personal food items.
  • Do not bring food ordered from restaurants into the Monastery.
  • Do not place personal items on unoccupied beds so as to keep them available for other pilgrims who may be coming to stay at the Monastery.
  • Men are not allowed to enter the women’s guesthouse nor women to enter the men’s guesthouse.
  • Do not gather around the area immediately in front of the monk’s cells and in front of the guesthouses, especially after the morning service and after Compline.

Quiet Hours

Although we kindly ask all visitors to be quiet and orderly while at the Monastery at all times, you are expected to be especially quiet during the Monastery’s Quiet Hours, which are:

  • From 7:00 P.M. until 1:00 A.M.
  • Three hours after the morning service

If you do not wish to rest in the morning after the service (after breakfast), we ask that you leave the guesthouse and the inner courtyard quietly. There are many areas on the grounds of the Monastery that can be used to sit or to talk quietly. We ask that you do not use the telephones nor the showers during the quiet hours.

Divine Services

All pilgrims staying at the Monastery are expected to attend all scheduled church services. Non-Orthodox visitors are asked to participate in the services from the Narthex. Also, Catechumens are dismissed at the appropriate times during the services. Cell phones must be turned off during the church services and meals in the dining hall.

When entering the Church for the Divine Services, we ask that you venerate the icons only up to the first set of pillars in the nave and are asked not to venerate the icons in the front part of the Church when the monks are present for the services.

We ask you that when you take Geronda Ephraim's or Geronda Paisios' blessing, simply bow and kiss their hand. Please do not cross yourself and do not make a prostration in front of them.

The order within the Monastery for venerating icons, processions to and from the Trapeza and for receiving Holy Communion is as follows: the Elder or Abbot first, then ordained clergy, then the monks, nuns, men and the women. All guests are asked to please follow the order set up by the Monastery.

Please note that men stand on the right side in the church and women on the left.

During the reading of the “Six Psalms” (usually read approximately 30 minutes into the morning service), please avoid any unnecessary movement; this includes veneration of icons and even making the sign of the cross.

Trapeza (Dining Hall)

Only Orthodox Christians and Catechumens (those learning the Faith and who are about to become Orthodox) may be seated in the Trapeza during a formal meal. All others will be served after the meal has ended and the Fathers have left the Trapeza.

We ask that you maintain quiet during the meal as a reading for our spiritual nourishment takes place. The monastic custom is to wait until the Abbot or Hieromonk rings a bell for the blessing to drink any water at the meal.

Guests have a blessing to return to the Monastery’s Trapeza—immediately following a formal meal—to eat their unfinished food.

Holy Communion

Holy Communion is truly the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and just as it sanctifies and becomes for those prepared provision for eternal life, it may very well become “fire burning the unworthy” for those who are not. We therefore ask of all Orthodox Christians to prepare with confession and to have permission from their Spiritual Father before receiving Holy Communion, and also to prepare with the required fast as established by the Holy Fathers of the Church.

When the Holy Cup is brought forth from the Altar for Holy Communion, the veneration of icons should stop as the Lord is present in front of you in His Precious Body and Blood. We ask that you do not venerate the icons in the front of the Church as you proceed up to receive Holy Communion. Also we ask that you not venerate the icons after receiving the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Pilgrims who receive Holy Communion should take antidoron right after receiving from a tray held by one of the monks and should not come at the end of the Liturgy to receive antidoron from the priest.