Tito Colliander


Tito Fritiof Colliander (February 10, 1904 – May 21, 1989) was a FinnishEastern Orthodox Christian writer.

Colliander was born in St. Petersburg, the son of Colonel Sigfried Joakim Colliander and his wife Dagmar Ilmatar, née von Schoultz. Colliander received an artistic education. His wife, Ina Behrsen, was also an artist, and his son Sergius became an Orthodox priest.

Beginning in the 1930s, Colliander published a number of novels and short stories that made him famous. His books were written under the strong influence of Dostoyevsky's frequent themes of guilt and searching for faith in the modern world. His novels Crusade (Korståget), Mercy (Förbarma dig) and others were translated into foreign languages.

Colliander and his wife Ina converted to Orthodoxy, and the writer attended the Orthodox seminary from 1949 to 1953. His most famous book,The Way of the Ascetics (Asketernas väg), was first published in Swedish. The English translation,The Way of the Ascetics, went through several editions. He also wrote a memoir of life in Tsarist Russia and Finland in a pre-war book about Ilya Repin.

He died on May 21, 1989 and is buried at the Orthodox cemetery in Helsinki near Lapinlahti.