He Gave Everything Up – A Man Lives Solitary On This 130 Foot High Katskhi Pillar Rock To Be Near God

It’s amazing what man can do to serve God and prove their faith.

We all believe there is an ultimate being, a force that we all reckon to – some call them Jesus, Jehovah, Allah, and more.

Whatever they believe in, truth remains that a man’s faith can indeed move mountains.

In this case, one man moved on a mountain and decided to live in solitary to be near God.

Meet Maxime Qavtaradze. He is the man of faith who scaled a pillar way back in 1993 just to get closer with God.

Maxime Qavtaradze is literally close to the heavens. The 59-year-old monk lives atop a stone pillar in Georgia, scaling a 131-foot ladder in order to leave and enter his lofty home, reports CNN. Photographer Amos Chapple ascended the cliff to photograph his life there.

The Katskhi Pillar has long been venerated by locals in the area, though it’s been uninhabited since around the 1400s. When climbers ascended for the first time in centuries in 1944, they found the ruins of a church and the 600-year-old bones of the last stylite who lived there. The stylite tradition is believed to have begun in 423 when St. Simeon the Elder climbed a pillar in Syria in order to avoid worldly temptations, but the practice has since fallen out of favor. However, Qavtaradze is a modern devotee.

Though isolated, he is not a total hermit, coming down once or twice a week to counsel the troubled young men who come to the monastery at the bottom for his help. After all, he was once one of them. Though he now lives at the top of the world, Qavtaradze found his vocation when he was the lowest he’s ever been, doing prison time after he “drank, sold drugs, everything” as a young man.

Sergo Mikhelidze and a friend delivering lunch via a winch, the mechanism which transports everything up to the pillar except for human beings.

Qavtaradze making the 20 minute climb to the top of the rock after praying with others in the monastery at the foot of the cliff. Once he is too frail to use the ladder, he intends to remain at the top until his death.