The unknown saints are more in number than the known saints in Mount Athos – photo journal with such ones
At the beginning of the 20th century, in the Skete of Saint Anne (Major) a monk wanted to extend a wall in the garden of his cell and for this purpose he started late in the evening to dig into the forest.
Suddenly he found the holy relics of a big saint: they were incorrupt, with a marvelous yellow color and having a very intense fragrance.
Astonished from his discovery, he wanted to run to the kiriakon – the main church of the skete – blow the bells and tell everyone about the big news.
However, being late and already dark, he decided to postpone the announcement the next day.
During the night, in his sleep he had a vision in which the saint appeared with a very serious expression saying to him:
„Look, fella, we didn’t became saints together, in order for you to have the blessing to disclose where my holy relics are!”
So, he covered the place back and didn’t tell anyone about this. Just before his death, he told this story to his disciple, except, of course, the actual place where the holy relics are to this day.
As we see, there are a lot of unknown saints on Mount Athos. In fact, the unknown saints are more in number than the known ones. In the following photos you can see some relics from a saints which lived at the beginning of 20th century. They are in caskets or in baskets because their disciples brought with them as their most valuable asset when they left the places where they had the first place in which they lived their ascetic life in order to avoid the fame (they were very famous) and the derangement provoked by the other humans. The love of God is so big – like a burning fire – that they restlessly tried to find an unknown place where they can dedicate themselves to God.
The blackish skull is of Elder (Saint) Ilarion, a hesycast ascetic who died in 1930 – you can see it in a casket together with the relics of his holy disciple (Savvas) and has the black color because it was displayed for veneration and thus the dust and smoke from the stove made the skull black.
They all died in an almost unknown cell in the woods which became deserted after their death as you can see in the following photos.
Respecting the Athonite tradition we do not disclose where this cell and the holy relics actually are till this very day.