Monk Anatolios Kavsokalyvitis (1862-1938)22 November 2015
Monk Anatolios Kavsokalyvitis was born in 1862, in Pangrati, Kalavryta. He came to the Holy Mountain, the Bower of Our Lady, in 1890. In 1892, he was tonsured in the Kalyvi (house) of the Precious Cross, in Kavsokalyvia. He was very poor, had no property of any kind, was extremely devout, and loved the Mother of God dearly, as he did God Himself. He didn’t even have water in his hut. He had to take water from the church in an earthenware jar. He used to take the first grinding of flour from the mill, because it had bits of earth in it and was therefore cheaper. He never even had oil or wine. If he had a guest, he’d cook something. He lived off greens and cabbage, only a little and always simple. He fasted very strictly and was the richest pauper at Kavsokalyvia.
He used to gather mountain tea on Athos itself, as well as lavender and amaranth, which he gave to the Russians to send as a blessing to their homeland. Or he would go to Karyes to give these plants to people. He always went to the kelli 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 this wonderful hymn with all the power of his soul and the icon lamp in front of Our Lady would move by itself. This showed his own great devotion and also the Mother of God’s gift to him. In his hut, at night, whenever he turned over, he would say the whole of the hymn ‘It is very meet and right’. He was eventually saying it ten times a night. At first, his disciple was bothered by this, but then he became used to it. And one of the icons he had, of Christ crucified, wept in a miraculous way. To the end of his life he unceasingly hymned God, Our Lady and the saints. He was without guile, simple and lovable. He would be happy with the slightest thing, like a little child. According to Elder Ioakeim, from Karyes (†1988) he was worthy of the beatific words of Christ regarding childlike innocence.
Once when he was returning to Dafni from Karyes he was caught in a heavy rainstorm. He was soaked through and caught pneumonia. He 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.