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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fr. Seraphim, the Hermit of the French Island of Porquerolles

The video is a French news report of TF1 (video with Greek subtitles here). It is about Fr. Seraphim, who has lived as a hermit at the Fort of Porquerolles for over 15 years and is over 80 years old. The hermitage is a dependency of Saint-Antoine-le-Grand Monastery, featured in the documentary To Talandon, which in turn is a dependency of Simonopetra Monastery on Mount Athos. Fr. Seraphim was previously a monk at Simonopetra.

According to one news report from 2001:

"Père Seraphim, a 70-year-old monk from Mount Athos, is almost single-handedly transforming the Fort de la Repentance into a monastery. A Father Christmas lookalike, with flowing white beard, paint-splattered robes and an infectious giggle, he walked me through graffiti-covered vaulted halls which one day will house monks' cells. The chapel is already completed, its olive wood screen intricately carved by Seraphim himself - a riot of peacocks and flowers, angels and saints.

"Locals love this monk. 'He's bringing spirituality to the island and yet he is so jolly, so human,' says Katrine. 'Last summer, we watched the eclipse with him, and he got so drunk on Champagne that he fell off his stool backwards. His skirts went right over his head.'"

Fort de la Repentance

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