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St. Paisios of Mount Athos: Spiritual Words Part A’ 

“ With Sorrow and Love” – Page 156.

«The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment.»146

– Father, how do we deal with women who come to the monastery in pants? They often say it’s more practical but also more modest than shorts.
– Today they will wear either shorts or trousers! Come on! The Old Testament clearly says so, and look at the details! “It is not permitted for a man to wear a woman’s garment and a woman a man’s.” It’s a law and it’s indecent. Men who wear skirts are few, very few.
– But those who work in the fields say they can’t move comfortably if they don’t wear trousers.
– That’s an excuse.
– Father, mothers also say that little girls wear trousers so they don’t catch cold.
– Is there no other solution? No socks up to the top? Well, let them wear socks up to the top, so they don’t get cold. If one wants, one finds solutions for everything.
– And when Father, do officials come and have a woman wearing pants with them?
– Explain to them: “Do you want to save money and disturb the order and make a mess in the monastery?”
– Once, Father, thirty female teachers came in wearing pants and we let them pass.
– Wrong, it doesn’t fit! You should have told them off: “Excuse us, it’s the principle of the monastery not to allow women wearing pants to enter.” They will go to other monasteries and say: “In this monastery they let us in wearing pants”. You have saved them so that you don’t offend them, and they will then offend you. Put a sign at the gate with the relevant passage from the Old Testament. Make and fifty skirts and give them in a good way to those who come in pants for the first time and don’t know, or to those who wear short.”
-Father, when a high school comes and all the girls wear pants?
– Treat them with a drink outside the gate. That troubles them. Or, if they call to say they’re coming on a pilgrimage, say it over the phone: “Please don’t let the teachers and students wear pants.” This will let them know that they need to respect the space. This is not a parish. In the parish, the priest has to enlighten the women, so that they understand why they should not wear pants, and they will comply. If sometimes women from another parish go to his church and wear pants, he should make sure he makes things convenient. The Church is a mother; it is not a womb.
– But since in the Old Testament there is a commandment from God forbidding women to wear men’s clothes, etc., what else do they want? But they say to you, “Why shouldn’t women wear pants too? Why shouldn’t atheists also join the committees of the Churches, since the Church is the people?” So the fate of the Church will depend on the decision of the atheists. They will make the Churches libraries, storehouses, etc., since they take everything: “Why this, why that?”. What can you say?
In the monastery one should not tolerate even naked tourists, in order to collect money to clothe poor people, for this is also a trick of the evil one, to alienate the monk from the blessings of God and to secularize him, while the real strangeness of the monk, for Christ, makes him rich in virtues.
– Father, in the Monastery of Stomio, were you forced to put up signs for tourists?
– Yes, I had signs. In the monastery I had one that read: “Welcome”. Further down, twenty minutes from the Monastery I had another one that said: “The unashamedly clothed to Aóos River “*147 and I had an arrow pointing to the river and another that read: “The modestly clothed to the Holy Monastery” and I had an arrow pointing to the Monastery. Wasn’t I doing well?

146. Deuteronomy “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.
147. Aóos River passes under the Stomio Monastery of Konitsa.