Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Father Lazarus: The Last Anchorite
Coptic solitary Fr. Lazarus St. Antony is the most interesting Coptic monk you've never heard of. He lives in the mountain cave once inhabited by St. Anthony the Great and is sometimes referred to as "the last anchorite." Thanks to the Cobwebs From An Empty Skull blog, I learned that he was recently featured on BBC’s “Extreme Pilgrim” program, hosted by Pete Owen-Jones, a vicar of a parish in Sussex, England.
Father Lazarus has been living in solitude at a distance from St. Antony's Monastery for several years. He is a non-Egyptian born in Tasmania, Australia and spent about forty-years of his life as an atheist and a professor. After his mother was diagnosed with cancer and died, he abandoned his life in Australia and went in search of God and peace. His spiritual journey led him, ultimately, to life as Coptic monk. He eventually met H.H. Pope Shenouda III, who guided him to where he is today.
His incredibly interesting and inspiring journey is featured in the book Desert Father: In the Desert with Saint Anthony. It is highly recommended.