He had been a celebrated ascetic, rigid in fasting and silence,
It was revived among us towards the end of last century by one of the great "ascetics," as they called him, Paissy Velitchkovsky, and his disciples.
He was a tall, thin, but still vigorous old man, with black hair streaked with gray, and a long, grave, ascetic face.
What made him formidable was that a number of monks fully shared his feeling, and many of the visitors looked upon him as a great saint and ascetic, although they had no doubt that he was crazy.
The same meek and humble ascetics will rise up and go out to work for the great cause.
And among these were some of the oldest monks, strictest in their devotion, genuine ascetics, who had kept silent during the life of the deceased elder, but now suddenly unsealed their lips.
For it would have been discreditable to insist on burdening with the common regulations so great an ascetic, who prayed day and night (he even dropped asleep on his knees).
He was seventy-five or more, and he lived in a corner beyond the apiary in an old decaying wooden cell which had been built long ago for another great ascetic, Father Iona, who had lived to be a hundred and five, and of whose saintly doings many curious stories were still extant in the monastery and the neighborhood.
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The ascetic life has been more pronounced in Hinduism and Buddhism than in other major religions.
Most religions have or have had traces of asceticism in order to achieve a spiritual goal.