The Wisdom And Character Of Athanasios Of Athos

Of all the great and sanctified names of Mount Athos, few inspire more veneration than that of Athanasios.  He lived from about A.D. 925 to 1001, and occupies a central place in the development of the monasticism there.  As a young man he was a teacher and scholar in Constantinople, and mixed with the upper classes of that great city; he knew personally the Byzantine emperor Nicephoras II Phocas and served as his spiritual advisor.  But at some point he underwent some kind of conversion experience, and abandoned his old life to pursue the road of religion.  This pattern is not unknown among great holy men; we find it often repeated in the histories of the world’s great faiths.

Continue reading