The Monk Athanasius Vysotsky the Younger, the second abbot of the Serpukhov Vysotsky Monastery, was born in Yaroslavl around 1352 in a pious and noble family. In baptism, he received the name of Amos. His father Hilarion and mother Anna raised their son, who by nature had a "sharp mind", in strict rules of piety.
On December 2, 1374, the Monk Sergius of Radonezh, bowing to the request of the pious Serpukhov Prince Vladimir Andreevich, visited Serpukhov and, choosing a beautiful and very convenient place "on the High", founded a monastery here in the name of the Most Holy Theotokos, Her honest conception by the righteous Anna. He appointed his beloved disciple, the Monk Athanasius the Elder, as abbot of the new monastery. The fame of the cenobitic monastery, the exploits and experience of its abbot in the spiritual leadership of the novices quickly spread everywhere.
Wishing to "learn the way of the Lord," the young Amos came to the Monk Athanasius, and seeing his zeal and love for God, he accepted him into the monastery. Five years later, seeing his obedience, purity and patience in the feat, the Monk Athanasius honored him with monastic tonsure, calling him by his own name — Athanasius. In 1381, 3 years after his tonsure, at the consecration of the newly built cathedral church, when St. Athanasius the Elder was elevated to hegumen, St. Cyprian of Moscow, in the presence of St. Sergius, ordained him a hierodeacon, and 2 years later he was ordained a hieromonk.
During his journey to Kiev, the Monk Athanasius the Elder, seeing the experience of the Monk Athanasius, entrusted him with the management of the monastery, and in 1387, together with the Moscow Saint Cyprian, leaving for Constantinople forever, appointed him his successor in the abbotship in the Vysotsky monastery. Under St. Athanasius the Younger, the Vysotsky Monastery continued to flourish and the number of brethren in it multiplied. Abbot Athanasius was an example for the brethren in the exploits of a virtuous monastic life: "he had perfect abstinence, was strong in fasting, was not lazy in prayer, and was patient in poverty." Loving the Lord God, he was able to inspire the same love for God and for prayer feats and the brethren. He was able to keep them from their sins and instruct them how to overcome the attraction of passions, directing their hearts and thoughts to the Lord.
Around 1395, the Monk Athanasius met in his monastery an embassy from the Monk Athanasius the Elder, who sent from Constantinople seven beautiful icons of the Deesis rank, other church items and manuscripts.
In 1395, from great exploits and labors, the Monk Athanasius felt "senile exhaustion" and on September 12, on the day of the giving of the feast of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos, he passed away to the Lord. According to his will, he was buried against the western doors of the cathedral church under the stairs. His successor in the management of the monastery was St. Nikita, a relative and disciple of St. Sergius.
From the very moment of his burial, the Monk Athanasius was glorified by miracles. One of the brethren, having anger at the monk, did not go to his burial, and for this he was suddenly attacked by an unclean spirit. With tears, he then hurried to the church and before the coffin asked for forgiveness from the monk, after which he was freed from the evil spirit. When the body of St. Athanasius was lowered into the ground, this monk fell into the grave and when he was extracted from it, he informed the brethren that St. Athanasius stretched out his hand from the coffin and said to him: "You, brother, are destined to leave life soon, your end is near." On the third day after that, the monk died. The monks of the monastery and other people at different times saw burning candles over the burial place of the monk. They walked behind the Throne, on the right side, and when they reached the tomb of the monk, they became invisible. More than once the brethren heard his sweet-voiced singing over the coffin: "Holy God...", or saw the Monk Athanasius walking around the monastery with a censer and lighted candles. During the invasion of the Crimean Tatars on Serpukhov, when the monks fled from the monastery, the enemies and some residents of the city saw a monk riding out of the monastery on a white horse with a large rod in his hand. He had a dark complexion and a thick black beard. Having circled the camp of the enemies, he rushed at them with a threatening look, and they immediately lifted the siege of the city and fled. The city chiefs reported this to the tsar.
Shortly after his death, the staircase over the coffin of the monk was dismantled and a chapel was built. In 1697, the mother of Peter I, Tsarina Natalia Kirillovna, built a single-domed stone church in the name of St. Athanasius of Athos over the coffin of the monk. In 1878, this dilapidated temple was dismantled, and in memory of the 500th anniversary of the monastery, a beautiful and extensive temple was erected in the name of St. Sergius of Radonezh and Athanasius of Athos. In 1967, this church was "demolished by restorers as a structure of no architectural or historical value.".. The staircase was restored in its original form above the place of the monk's burial, and the grave of the monk was again under it. With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Juvenal of Krutitsky and Kolomna, work was carried out to determine the place of burial and the discovery of the holy remains of St. Athanasius. On September 11-24, 1994, the all-honorable relics of the Saint of God were found, and on the very day of the repose of the monk by a host of clergy headed by the Bishop, they were solemnly transferred to the temple.
From the holy relics of St. Athanasius, resting in the Intercession Church of the monastery, significant cases of healing of the suffering continue to be performed in our time.
The original Life and service of the Monk Athanasius were written in 1697 by the Monstrous hieromonk Karion Istomin, a clerk of the Moscow Patriarchal Court.
Since ancient times, the Monk Athanasius was revered as a miracle worker, mentor of monks and heavenly patron of the Vysotsky monastery, the city of Serpukhov and its limits.