Monk Anatolios Kavsokalyvitis (1862-1938), who displayed happiness “like a child.”
When we look to the Holy Mountain of Mount Athos in Greece, we often hope to have our minds and hearts graced with even a touch of the great wisdom that the monastic life produces. Yet, often times the most honest thing we can receive from the ascetic example is simplicity, childlike innocence, the happiness of a child. This was surely the case in the short life-example provided by Monk Anatolios Kavsokalyvitis.
Monk Anatolios Kavsokalycitis was twenty eight years old, in the year 1890, when he went to live on Mount Athos. In 1892, he was tonsured in the Kalyvi of the Precious Cross, in Kavsokalyvia. Humble Monk Anatolios was extremely poor and fasted very strictly, often only eating greens and cabbage. He never took anything beyond what he needed to keep himself alive, unless he was gathering things like lavender and mountain teas to send as gifts and alms.
Monk Anatolios loved the Mother of God so very dearly. It is said that in the keli of Axion Esti in Kapsala, where the hymn of the archangel to the Mother of God (“It is very meet and right to call you blessed”) was first sung in 980, he would sing the hymn before Our Lady and the oil lamp would move by itself. He would often sing this hymn many times a night while he turned over in his sleep. In the simplicity of truly following our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through his All Immaculate Mother, Monk Anatolios was able to regain his childlike innocence in a very pure form. He was without guile, simple, lovable, and would find joy in the slightest things like a child. “Monk Anatolios went to his rest in the Lord on 20/9/1939 in his poor and humble hut, glorifying God from the depths of his being and thanking from his heart the Mother of God, the protectress of her bower planted by God.”
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