Today we made a delightful visit to Saint Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery, http://www.stanthonysmonastery.org/index.php, located about 20 miles from Casa Grande Ruins, about 8 miles south of the town of Florence.
In July 1995, five fathers came to the barren Sonora Arizona desert from Mount Athos, Greece, and began working to build St. Anthony's. Within five years, the brotherhood had increased to 30 fathers.
The monks welcome pilgrims and visitors to visit, offering the traditional kerasma (water and something sweet) and answer questions. The monastery buildings and grounds are stunning. The gardens are a mixture of desert plants and imported ones. The buildings are elaborate, each a different style. All of the icons, many of the furnishings have been imported from Greece.
Rather than have this post run forever, I have put a few (only 16 of the nearly 200 we took today) photos in a slide show. I hope you enjoy the gardens, the holy places, the beauty and the whimsy in what you see.