He was reportedly left in the care of the Orthodox Monks of a monastery after his mother died when he was just 4 hours old.
This is a world full of possibilities and we have slowly learned to expect the unexpected. But some things still leave us gaping, like this real-life story of a man who never laid eyes on a woman while he was alive. He never even knew what women looked like.
This is the astonishing story of the Greek-born Mihailo Tolotos. According to Bold Sky, Tolotos was left alone when his mother passed away mere 4 hours after his birth. He was surrendered at the stairs of a monastery of Orthodox Monks on Mount Athos as people weren't sure of his parental lineage and no one was around to take care of him.
The monks at the monastery named him Mihailo Tolotos and nurtured him. It is said that Tolotos never went outside the gates of his monastery. One of the main reasons behind Tolotos never seeing a woman is a law passed in 1060 prohibiting women and animals from visiting Mount Athos. The law was fully operative and appears to be strictly enforced even today.
The Mount only allows men to visit the space. This rule was put in place to ensure that the men residing in the numerous monasteries could live in tranquility and total celibacy. The monks believed that having women around affects their ability to practice celibacy and would inevitably hinder their goal to achieve spiritual enlightenment, reports Storypick.
The monastery has rules that prohibit the monks from shaving, taking a bath, fighting, quarreling, and wondering what lies beyond the monastery's walls. This law is called Άβατον' (avaton) in Greek and it was reportedly passed in the year 1046 by the Byzantine emperor Constantine Monomachos.
Tolotos lived with the monks and was nurtured by them and he grew up to become a monk himself. He died in 1938 at the age of 82. During the 82 years of his life, he never stepped outside the monastery and never saw a woman. He heard about women's existence from his peers and read about them in books but he never actually encountered one, LADbible reported.
Tolotos's story was shared on Reddit by u/Tunexux and many people came up and expressed their views on his incredible life. u/ChristineWhy commented on how strict monasteries can be and wrote, "Athonite monks are extremely strict. Women aren't even allowed on the peninsula, and I think that extends to their domesticated animals, too. The Virgin Mary appeared there and claimed it as her personal garden, and so as a tribute to her, the monastics do not allow any other women. The only notable instance was when the Empress who held the Gifts of the Magi brought them to the port to be handed over to the monks for safekeeping. Otherwise, women are strictly forbidden. So... very strict."
There were a couple of quirky takes on Tolotos's situation. u/ThePoetEmrys wrote: "Seems backward, you'd think if Mary claimed it, it'd be full of nuns and no men instead."
"My mother gave me a book of cat photographs, and in it was a photograph of Mount Athos, and one of the monks feeding the cats. They were calico cats," shared u/TootsNYC. Reading about women must have been like reading about fairies for Tolotos for all we know.