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The last anchorite


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#1 Kelil

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 04:16 PM

Hi, not long ago on you tube I watched a documentary about Fr.Lazarus who is the last anchorite. the questions I have are, is it possible to visit Mount Colzim? or is that a no no?

I'd love to see what its like up there, and also my second question is, has anyone ever followed in his footsteps yet?

Pax Christi
Stephen <3

#2 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 05:52 PM

My instinctive reaction to all this is caution. An anchorite who is all over the internet (Facebook and Youtube - whatever they are) and has books written about him? I'm sure there are many anchorites living as St Anthony did in Egypt and Ethiopia unknown to any but God, and unless the Second Coming is nearer than I like to think, Fr Lazarus is not the last anchorite. One need not do anything extra-ordinary or go to any exotic place in order to enhance one's hope of salvation. It can be done anywhere (including towns in Ireland and England). And some would ask you to think of the cost of your carbon footprint in getting there (and, presumably, back).

#3 Kelil

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 06:41 PM

My instinctive reaction to all this is caution. An anchorite who is all over the internet (Facebook and Youtube - whatever they are) and has books written about him? I'm sure there are many anchorites living as St Anthony did in Egypt and Ethiopia unknown to any but God, and unless the Second Coming is nearer than I like to think, Fr Lazarus is not the last anchorite. One need not do anything extra-ordinary or go to any exotic place in order to enhance one's hope of salvation. It can be done anywhere (including towns in Ireland and England). And some would ask you to think of the cost of your carbon footprint in getting there (and, presumably, back).


I dont know, I mean, didnt Saint Anthony become the first anchorite? and yet he was well known around the desert and by the people who lived there, and would often come out of the desert in order to preach and solve disputes, thus Saint Anthony was the first Anchorite who started the Monastic life. He also had St.Athanasius looking after him and checking up on him and also writing about him too. I agree though that there are many anchorites we dont know about, for that is what the whole anchoritic life is about, to be unknown.

I just wanted to go visit Mount Colzim, and see what it was like, but was wondering if visitations from tourists are allowed?

Pax Christi
Stephen <3

#4 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 06:50 PM

Pilgrimage to holy places is certainly a part of Orthodoxy. Men visit Mt. Athos, why not visit Mt. Colzim, or Mt. Sinai, or any other place? Most Orthodox monasteries honor the ancient tradition of offering hospitality to all visitors or they situate themselves where visitation takes a special effort, but even then I am not aware of any monastery that turns sincere pilgrims away even if they discourage tourism in general.

#5 Archimandrite Irenei

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 07:58 PM

He's certainly not the only, nor the last.

#6 Kelil

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 08:15 PM

thank you both for your encouragement to go visit these Holy Places.

Pax Christi
Stephen

#7 Fr. Kyrillos Ibrahim

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 08:29 PM

Fr. Lazarus is certainly not the last or only anchorite in Egypt. There are many! I think this was the title of the producer without taking the opinion of Fr. Lazarus who certainly would not agree to have that designation.

And yes, visitors are welcome to visit the monastery of St. Antony and to go up the mountain to St. Antony's cave. Seeing Fr. Lazarus will be based on providence as he usually comes down the mountain from his cave once a week for provisions.

Of course, the intrigue over Fr. Lazarus is that he was an atheist professor in Australia and eventually came to not only believe in God and become Orthodox but is now living as a non-Egyptian in an Egyptian monastery and living a life of austere asceticism as a hermit.

If you go to Egypt during a fasting period, you will want to confirm with a a good Christian guide which monasteries allow visitors, especially in Lent.

Fr. Kyrillos

#8 Kelil

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 08:41 PM

Fr. Lazarus is certainly not the last or only anchorite in Egypt. There are many! I think this was the title of the producer without taking the opinion of Fr. Lazarus who certainly would not agree to have that designation.

And yes, visitors are welcome to visit the monastery of St. Antony and to go up the mountain to St. Antony's cave. Seeing Fr. Lazarus will be based on providence as he usually comes down the mountain from his cave once a week for provisions.

Of course, the intrigue over Fr. Lazarus is that he was an atheist professor in Australia and eventually came to not only believe in God and become Orthodox but is now living as a non-Egyptian in an Egyptian monastery and living a life of austere asceticism as a hermit.

If you go to Egypt during a fasting period, you will want to confirm with a a good Christian guide which monasteries allow visitors, especially in Lent.

Fr. Kyrillos


Hello Father Kyrillos Ibrahim, Do the Orthodox celebrate Lent in the same time period as us Roman Catholics? and if not, when do they do so? just so I know not to visit at the time you mentioned.

I take it that visiting Fr.Lazarus is out of the question? even if one were to bring up a lengthy supply of bread for him for the week?

Pax Christi
Stephen <3

#9 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 09:34 PM

Hello Father Kyrillos Ibrahim, Do the Orthodox celebrate Lent in the same time period as us Roman Catholics? and if not, when do they do so? just so I know not to visit at the time you mentioned.


Please forgive, I am not Fr. Kyrillos (Father bless!), but the Orthodox date Pascha a bit differently than the Catholics date Easter, so our Lent often coincides to some extent but always starts differently (Monday not Wednesday) and generally ends later than for Catholics.

I take it that visiting Fr.Lazarus is out of the question? even if one were to bring up a lengthy supply of bread for him for the week?

Pax Christi


Bribing an Orthodox monk is generally NOT a good way to get into his "good graces". :/

#10 Kelil

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 09:37 PM

Bribing an Orthodox monk is generally NOT a good way to get into his "good graces".


Bribing? its just I read that a journalist was allowed up to see Fr.Lazarus on condition that he brought him a weeks supply of bread, so I thought that the same condition applied to all who wished to visit him.

Pax Christi
Stephen <3

#11 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 09:54 PM

First I have heard that. Most Orthodox monastics I am familiar with do not charge admission.

#12 Kelil

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 10:06 PM

First I have heard that. Most Orthodox monastics I am familiar with do not charge admission.


Well I dont think he was charging him, just inviting him to make a kind gesture? It's recorded in his book ''The Desert Father''.

Pax Christi
Stephen <3

#13 Fr. Kyrillos Ibrahim

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 10:15 PM

Dear Stephen,

I believe Herman answered your question about the dating of Lent.

I honestly do not know how difficult it would be to see Fr. Lazarus. It is a lengthy journey up the mountain to where he lives and only few of the fathers and brothers know the journey. So it would depend on someone obtaining Fr. Lazarus' permission to take you to him or if perhaps you were at St. Antony's Monastery at a time when Fr. Lazarus came down to pray the liturgy. The last time I went in 2007 I was unable to see him and I apparently just missed him. However, I want to reassure you that there are many, many blessed fathers at the monastery there and you will certainly be edified in your visit. There are some modern saints whose relics are at the monastery (some incorrupt) and the ancient church, where St. Antony is believed to be buried under the main altar, is truly a blessing with its ancient wall paintings. You can see a video describing some of the restoration work here:

http://heritage-key....zaafarana-egypt

Regarding your comment about the journalist, I would imagine that what you read is somewhat inaccurate. Fr. Lazarus lives in a cave mostly on bread and water and is not in need of things brought to him from visitors. Perhaps it was one of the brothers who normally had to make the hike up the mountain that convinced the journalist to take some food :)

Coptic monks are extremely hospitable and you will be received very warmly.

God bless,
Fr. Kyrillos

#14 Fr. Kyrillos Ibrahim

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 10:17 PM

I also read somewhere or perhaps heard it in an audio recording of Fr. Lazarus speaking to some pilgrims that he initially converted to Orthodoxy via the Serbian Orthodox Church in Australia and actually lived for a time on Mt. Athos before coming to Egypt.

#15 Kelil

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 10:32 PM

Dear Stephen,

I believe Herman answered your question about the dating of Lent.

I honestly do not know how difficult it would be to see Fr. Lazarus. It is a lengthy journey up the mountain to where he lives and only few of the fathers and brothers know the journey. So it would depend on someone obtaining Fr. Lazarus' permission to take you to him or if perhaps you were at St. Antony's Monastery at a time when Fr. Lazarus came down to pray the liturgy. The last time I went in 2007 I was unable to see him and I apparently just missed him. However, I want to reassure you that there are many, many blessed fathers at the monastery there and you will certainly be edified in your visit. There are some modern saints whose relics are at the monastery (some incorrupt) and the ancient church, where St. Antony is believed to be buried under the main altar, is truly a blessing with its ancient wall paintings. You can see a video describing some of the restoration work here:

http://heritage-key....zaafarana-egypt

Regarding your comment about the journalist, I would imagine that what you read is somewhat inaccurate. Fr. Lazarus lives in a cave mostly on bread and water and is not in need of things brought to him from visitors. Perhaps it was one of the brothers who normally had to make the hike up the mountain that convinced the journalist to take some food :)

Coptic monks are extremely hospitable and you will be received very warmly.

God bless,
Fr. Kyrillos


Thank you Father for your kind and sincere reply, it was a weeks supply of bread that the journalist/writer brought to him, but I think the usage of his word ''condition'' made it sound like he was required to do so. Thats the trouble with reading these books, one has to be grounded in ones faith in order to know how to seperate the chaff from the wheat.

I will do my best now and make plans to take the journey to the east if all goes well and the financial wind blows in my direction God willing. It might do me some good to find out if I could ring ahead of time and ask if a meeting with Fr.Lazarus could be possible.

Pax Christi
Stephen <3

#16 Michael Astley

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 08:43 PM

If it helps, Stephen, the western date of easter coincides with the Ortodox one next year as well, so our observances of Lent begin only two days apart as they did this year. It is uncommon for them to coincide in two consecutive years but there it is.

In Christ,
Michael

#17 Kelil

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 11:38 AM

If it helps, Stephen, the western date of easter coincides with the Ortodox one next year as well, so our observances of Lent begin only two days apart as they did this year. It is uncommon for them to coincide in two consecutive years but there it is.

In Christ,
Michael


All in Gods will I'm sure Michael, thank you so much for your kind response to the thread, I'll certainly keep that in mind as I plan to see how much my journey will cost.

Pax Christi
Stephen <3

#18 Kusanagi

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 10:43 PM

Is Father Lazarus the father that was mentioned when an Anglican priest went to visit St Anthony's monastery 1-2 years ago?
There was a documentary by the BBC on his experience on meeting a hermit and the Jesus prayer.

#19 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 01:37 PM

Is Father Lazarus the father that was mentioned when an Anglican priest went to visit St Anthony's monastery 1-2 years ago?
There was a documentary by the BBC on his experience on meeting a hermit and the Jesus prayer.


It seems he is. The programme can still be found and viewed in the internet at a web site called interruptingthesilence.com - type 'extreme pilgrim' in the search box and you will find items about Fr Lazarus and the hour-long programme about Peter Owen-Jones's visit to him (the BBC programme).

#20 Kusanagi

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 11:14 PM

Ah very good!! I really loved the documentary on the father and the experience of the anglican priest, he was most happy in the Orthodox surroundings than in the other 2 religions he encountered.

I highly recommend people to watch it. But I do not think Fr Lazarus is the last anchorite i am sure there are plenty more known to God but not to man, like in Romania many monks and nuns are living more in the forests and mountains in at most in groups of 2-3.

But wasn't Prophet Elijah the first anchorite?




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