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December 16, 2022

Mihailo Tolotos, the Greek Orthodox Monk Who Lived 82 Years Without Ever Seeing a Woman

Here’s a newspaper clipping from the Edinburg Daily Courier, and is dated October 29, 1938. It describes what seems to be a Greek monk on Mount Athos born around 1856, whom some have cited as being the only man to have ever lived a full life without ever seeing a woman. This is due to the fact that he lived at Mount Athos since infancy till his death without interruption, and because Mount Athos holds to the strict avaton rule, that does not allow women on the monastic republic, he never had an opportunity to see a woman, at least not in person.

In 1856, just after 4 hours after his birth, his mother passed away.  Since no father or other family members came forward, the boy was abandoned on the steps of a monastery atop Mount Athos. He was adopted by the monastery and the monks named him Michael Tolotos.

Having very limited contact with the outside world, Tolotos (among many others) never met women as they were not allowed inside monasteries or on the mountain. Tourists were allowed, but only men, who came to experience the monastic life or to settle there as monks.

The Monastery rules.

Bred and educated in the walled monastery, Mihailo never even once ventured past the gates of the monastery. Throughout all this, a law passed in 1060 banning women and animals from Mount Athos was in force. A law that still stands today. 

Since Mihailol never had any contact with the outer world and no woman was allowed to visit the monastery, he died in 1938, at the age of 82, without ever knowing what a woman looked like. Even today, only male tourists are allowed inside the monastery and the monks are not allowed to shave, bathe, fight, argue or ask what lies beyond the walls of the monastery.

Mount Athos

Some clarifications though, upon birth he may have seen a woman, but he just had no memory of doing so. Also, many who have been blind from birth have never seen a woman, though even they have had contact with them. Mihailol had no contact or communication with a woman whatsoever.

1 comment:

  1. We can see that each person is born with a different destiny. This big world also becomes so small for so many people




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