The Unknown Pilgrim by Rene Gothic
Versa Press. 2006. 165 pages.
Pilgrimage is a form of devotion: a body's journey to a holy place, a soul's journey out of exile to God. Rene Gothoni, professor of Comparative Religion at the University of Helsinki, writes of his pilgrimage to a little-known island off the coast of Mt. Athos. Seeking a way to this island, not yet certain it even exists, Gothoni confesses his longing to visit the holy place: 'I've heard that there's an island nearby. It's like a huge meteorite that landed in the middle of the sea. The edges of the cliffs rise steeply for more than twenty meters...nonetheless, a hermit is said to live on the plateau, a spiritual father of exceptional wisdom. Do you know where this island is? ' To a Greek friend, Gothoni explains that he saw a lithograph of the island in an old book and even had a dream about going there. It seems necessary that he make the journey, and though he has been to Athos many times, this pilgrimage, spontaneous and desperate, will elevate the course of his entire life.