The Monk Gerasimos

Commemorated on October 20

      The Monk Gerasimos was born in the village of Trikala in the Peloponessus. Upon reaching maturity he withdrew to the island of Zakina for a monastic life. On the Holy Mountain he became a schema-monk and studied with the ascetics of Athos. Having received blessing from the elders, the monk set off to Jerusalem to worship at the Lifebearing Grave of the Saviour. Having made the rounds of the holy places, visiting Mount Sinai, Antioch, Damascus, Alexandria and Egypt, he returned to Jerusalem where he became a a candle-lighter at the Sepulchre of the Lord. The monk was ordained by the blessed Patriarch of Jerusalem, Germanos (1534-1579), to the diaconate, and then to the priesthood. The Monk Gerasimos did not slacken in deeds of prayer. For quietude he withdrew to Jordan, where he spent 40 days without respite. Having received the Patriarch's blessing for a life of silence, the monk Gerasimos withdrew Zakinthos. He dwelt there in solitude for 5 years, nourishing himself on vegetation. At an inspiration from above he went to the island of Cephalonia and on to Omal, and having restored a church he founded a women's monastery at which he dwelt for 30 years in constant toil, vigil, and prayer on bended knee stretched out upon the earth.For his exalted life he was vouchsafed of God a miraculous gift to heal the sick and cast out unclean spirits. The Monk Gerasimos, aware of his impending end for several days, gave his blessing to the nuns and peacefully expired to the Lord on 15 August 1579, at 71 years of age. When his grave was opened two years later, his holy relics were found undecayed and exuding fragrance, and were curative.

1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.

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