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Last of the Stylites

Maxime stands by the church on top of the Katskhi Pillar looking at the view Last of the Stylites Maxime Qavtaradze, who lives on top of the Katskhi Pillar in Georgia on June 22, 2013. (Photo by REX USA/Amos Chapple/Rex)

Last of the Stylites: Maxime Qavtaradze

In an isolated region of the Caucasus, a Georgian monk is spending his days in prayer and silence atop a pillar of limestone. The Katskhi Pillar was used by stylites (Christian ascetics who lived atop pillars and eschewed worldly temptation) until the 15th century. Since 1993, however, it's been home to Maxime Qavtaradze, last of the stylites. Maxime and the Christian community in the area have constructed a ladder to the top, rebuilt the church, and built a cottage where Maxime spends his days "preparing to meet god." (REX USA)