One an Athonite, the other a Trappist... born on opposite sides of the world, in 1907... die on the same day.
The Athonite, Fr. John of Hilandari.
Fr. John of Hilandari
The Trappist, Fr. Daniel of New Melleray.Today, Sunday 29 July 2012, the oldest living monk on Mount Athos reposed in the Lord. Fr. John of Hilandari was 105 years old. He lived at the Serbian Monastery of Hilandari.
Fr. John was born on 10 May 1907 in Serbia. Following World War 2 he emigrated to England where he stayed until the early 80's. It was during this time that his wife died and he decided to become a monk at Hilandari Monastery. Since then he never stepped foot off of the Holy Mountain.
Though he was a patriot of Serbia, he never once visited since World War 2, because, he says, "it is not the place I knew. It would not remind me of my childhood years and this would sadden me."
He lived a life of prayer and obedience. His service work all these years was as a gardener. Many remember him as the monk with bags on his knees crawling throughout the garden. - finish reading here.
Fr. Daniel Lenihan* died July 29, 2012 at 11:40 AM. He was 105 years old. Fr. Daniel entered New Melleray on May 17, 1946 and made his first profession of vows on September 12, 1948, and his solemn vows three years later. He was ordained a priest on May 3, 1955. The day and time of his funeral will be announced later.
Fr. Daniel, a native of Chicago, served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army during World War II in Europe. His duties as a monk have included construction work, laying concrete block, purchaser, guest master, spiritual director and Mass Secretary. - New Melleray
* I was blessed to know Fr. Daniel when I was at New Melleray in the novitiate. He was a wonderful, faithful monk.
Many thanks to Mark of Joe Vs. the Volcano blog for the news on Fr. John of Mt. Athos.