The Oldest Athonite Monk Has Reposed
- Today, Sunday 29 July 2012, the oldest living monk on Mount Athos reposed in the Lord. Fr. John of Hilandari was 105 years old. He lived at the Serbian Monastery of Hilandari.
Fr. John was born on 10 May 1907 in Serbia. Following World War 2 he emigrated to England where he stayed until the early 80's. It was during this time that his wife died and he decided to become a monk at Hilandari Monastery. Since then he never stepped foot off of the Holy Mountain.
Though he was a patriot of Serbia, he never once visited since World War 2, because, he says, "it is not the place I knew. It would not remind me of my childhood years and this would sadden me."
He lived a life of prayer and obedience. His service work all these years was as a gardener. Many remember him as the monk with bags on his knees crawling throughout the garden.
He loved Serbian poetry, and himself wrote many books of Serbian poems which he titled "Foreigners".
In 2009 he finally abandoned his typewriter and began using a laptop which was given to him by his brothers at the monastery.