George Dikaiakos was born in Athens, Greece in 1951. After completing his general education, George entered the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Athens in 1969 and graduated in 1973. Following his graduation he entered the Greek army, serving from July 1974 to January 1977.
On [[February 12]], 1977, George was [[tonsure]]d a [[monk] and given the name Athenagoras before his [[ordination]] as a [[deacon]] by [[Bishop]] Polycarp of Corfu and Paxos on [[February 21]], 1977. He became a member of the small [[monasticism|monastic]] brotherhood of St. Athanasios at Agros Corfu and also continued his studies at the Theological School of Aristotle University of Thessalonica from which he graduated in 1979.
Also, in 1979, he was ordained a [[priest]] and received the monastic dignity of [[archimandrite]] from Metropolitan Nicodemus of Thebes and Livadeia. Father Athenagoras was then appointed preacher at the [[Metropolis of Thebes and Levadeia]]. Among his duties were organizing pastoral seminars and courses for the [[clergy]] of the metropolis as well as public relations activities. During 1984-1985, he attended courses in London, England concerning Pastoral activities. Beginning in 1998 he attended for two years postgraduate studies at the Theological School of Aristotle University of Thessalonca Department of Christian Ethics and Sociology, receiving, in 2002, a Master's degree with honors. In 2009, he returned to the University of Thessalonica to complete his thesis on "Mental exhaustion and 'alienation' of the priest."