He had returned home to relieve the suffering of his parents and help the poor of his village as well. After a time he retired to the Skete, and it was here that he became a monk and took the name Anthimos given by Elder Pachomios. He fell ill there and his abbot sent him home to his parents for the sake of his health. At home, despite the fact that he was caring for his aged parents and practicing his shoe mender's trade, he continued to live as a monk, spending nights on end in prayer and sometimes living only on bread and water for extended periods. He took his inspirtion reading about the lives of the great ascetics, and in this way he was able to conquer every assault of the devil.
"I have been found worthy to receive the blessing of two sacred personalities, while still alive, that were canonized. One of these is St. Anthimos of Chios. When I was a child, I injured my eye. I was afraid that, if my father found out, that he would beat me. I remember it had become bruised as well. What would I do? I thought that I should go to the holy man up at Panagia Voithia Monastery. I told him my problem. He read a prayer over me, crossed me, and healed me! Receiving his blessing, I left.
"The other holy personality that I had the blessing to meet was another Saint of Chios, Saint Symeon, the abbot of Psaron. From the age of 8 I would go to the Monastery and learn letters studying the Psalms of David! I remember he was a strogly built man and upkept the monastery buildings with much love. At night they would hear him go to a gorge next to the Monastery and break stones, in order to, as he would say, tame himself through work and for the devil to not battle against him. In the morning he would be prompt for Services. I was blessed, from the age of five, to be near him" (ΑΠΟΣΤΟΛΗ, num. 55, Winter 2003-04).
A Miracle of St. Anthimos is related here.
- “Humble-mindedness will bring all the virtues.”
- “What do people do when their hands and faces are dirty? They turn on a tap and allow the water to clean away the stains. We should imitate them. Only, we should open two taps – our eyes, so that an abundance of tears of repentance pour out, which will wash out all the poisons of this futile world which have infected and dirtied our wretched souls”.
- "The Panagia is the only mother of all Christians. And who does not call upon her. Because the sufferings of mankind are many in this vain world, nowhere else can we all find relief, except in the Panagia. When you are sitting there quietly, a thought suddenly comes to you and brings darkness. Where will you go to be loosed from this darkness? To the Panagia. All the Saints are our helpers, but above all is the Panagia.
"She has the riches of great compassion. She has great love for mankind, especially for sinners. For this reason she never ceases to mediate to her Son, and the Son takes great joy when His mother intercededs on behalf of mankind. For this reason she brought us His mother and granted her to us that we may have her as a source of salvation."