New Skete Fathers (Athos)

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New Skete is a monastic community on Mount Athos. This is a page that aims to collate short stories and quotes from some of the fathers who struggled at or near New Skete.

Seraphim the Anchorite

Fr Seraphim, before coming to the Holy Mountain, was a devout young businessman from a wealthy family in Athens. His life in the world changed when his mother died of a dreadful illness, followed by his father a short time later. He reflected on the vanity of this world, left the world, gave away his riches to the poor, left his commercial enterprises to his employees and went to Mt Athos.

Travelling through New Skete, he met Fr Neophytos, who was living in the cell of St Demetrios. He was given hospitality and made his confession. After Fr Neophytos told him about the ascetics and the anchorites living at the peak of Mt Athos, he felt a calling and asked the blessing of Fr Neophytos to follow this life; he received it on account of his piety and humility. Fr Neophytos kept him a layman for five years, preparing him; no one knew of his aim, in part because he avoided even the other fathers of the Skete. After five years, Fr Neophytos tonsured him with the name Seraphim, and gave Fr Seraphim a blessing to live as an anchorite.

Three years later, he came down briefly and told Fr Dionysios, his spiritual brother, of his temptations at the beginning, and the demons torments. Fr Seraphim had used an old piece of corregated iron to keep out the worst of the wind and rain, which the demons tossed aside, which prompted Fr Seraphim to thank them. Five years after that, Fr Seraphim visited Fr Neophytos, and Fr Neophytos gave a tabernacle to Fr Seraphim so that he could commune, and Fr Seraphim departed for the peak of Athos. No other records exist of his struggle or repose.