AVVAKUM THE BAREFOOT 1894-1978
Symi born Elder Avvakum of Mt Athos was a sublime combination of great asceticism and “community” work, in other words, of practical love towards his fellow man, whether a monk or a lay pilgrim.
Although he received abundant Grace from above from his youth, he never ceased even for a moment to offer that which was in his power, in obedience from his heart to the voice of the Gospel.
He soon became for his fellow monastics and the scores of pilgrims a symbol and example of asceticism, simplicity and love, so that after his death foreign pilgrims and researchers would gather earth from his grave to take as a blessing to their homelands! This had never before been heard of in the chronicles of the Holy Mountain. His countenance reminded them of the holy Forerunner, the fools-for-Christ, their own Francis of Assisi and the saints of the Byzantine icons.
He knows things that usually only university professors know. He can shame any wise man. He is poor yet he possesses more than all the world’s wise men and intellectuals. He is truly illumined.”
— N. Louvaris, Academic
Divine Grace! Infinite memory; never have I heard such a thing, nor will I hear such again.”
— I. Karmiris, Academic