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Friday, September 29, 2023

Mihailo Toloto – The 82-Year-Old Monk Who Died Without Ever Seeing a Real Woman

Mihailo Toloto was a Greek monk who spent his entire 82-year life on Mount Athos without ever laying eyes on an actual woman.

Born in the year 1856, Mihailo Toloto faced adversity from the moment he came into the world. His mother died just four hours after his birth, and with no father to claim him as their own, he was abandoned on the steps of a monastery located on Mount Athos, the center of Orthodox monasticism. The monk there took him in and the monastery became his permanent home. Raised and educated within the walled monastery, Mihailo became a monk and reportedly never ventured off the mountain until his death, in 1938. And since women are not permitted to set foot on Mount Athos, Miahilo Toloto died without ever seeing a woman.

Obviously, Mihailo Toloto, isn’t the only person to have never seen a woman in their entire lives. People born blind never see anything, but his story is a particular one in that he never ever came into contact with a woman, having spent his entire life among fellow monks and the occasional male visitors.

Upon his death, Mihailo’s fellow monks organized a special funeral for him, believing him to be the only man in the world to have died without ever seeing, touching, or otherwise interacting with a woman. According to an old newspaper article, the Greek monk had also never seen a car or an airplane, although that isn’t as strange considering the age and place he lived in.

Interestingly, Mihailo Toloto may have indeed come into contact with a woman on two separate occasions, even though he didn’t know it. In the 1920s, French philosopher and writer Maryse Choisy disguised herself as a sailor in order to gain access onto Mount Athos, and in the 1930s, Aliki Diplarakou, the first Greek woman to be crowned Miss Europe, also used a disguise to infiltrate the sacred Orthodox mountain forbidden to women.

Mihailo may have come into contact with one or both female interlopers, although he most likely never realized it because of their disguise. Or, then again, he may have died without ever actually seeing an actual woman.

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