Fantinus was born to a pious Calabrian family in about 902 AD. From his earliest childhood, Fantinus showed great devotion to meditating upon the Holy Scriptures, and always striving towards the eternal good things, while disdaining the pleasures and distractions of children of his age. Seeing these tendencies within him, his parents commended him to God at the age of eight, by placing him in the care of St Elias the Cave-Dweller. The elder immediately discerned the charismatic gifts which Fantinus possessed, and foresaw his future holiness and greatness. As a consequence, St Elias entrusted Fantinus’ education and spiritual formation to his best disciples. Where in time, Fantinus manifested the wisdom of a holy elder far beyond his own years, and so St Elias tonsured him a monk at the age of thirteen.