My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,


On the 20th of October, the Holy Orthodox Church Commemorates
our holy and God-bearing Father
GERASIMOS the New Ascetic, of Peloponnesos,
who reposed in peace and whose holy relics are in
the Greek island of Kephalonia.

Apolytikion Hymn (Dismissal Hymn). First Tone

Let us the faithful praise the divine Gerasimos, who hath been newly
revealed to us as a protector of the Orthodox, an angel in the flesh,
and a God-bearing wonderworker. For he worthily received from God
the unfailing gift of healing; he restoreth the ailing and healeth demoniacs.
Wherefore, he poureth forth healings upon them that honor him.

Kontakion Hymn. Third Tone

Now doth Cephalonia, with sacred songs of thanksgiving, call upon the
multitudes of all the Orthodox Christians to extol the boast and glory of
Orthodoxy, the divine and great Gerasimos, who is truly her deliverer
and champion, who doth preserve her from all the harm of her foes.

Gerasimos, the radiant and newly-appeared star of the Church of Christ, the adamantine stone which are shattered the heads of all the innovators and deviators from the infallible Holy Tradition of Our Most Holy Orthodox Church, was born in 1509, in the village of Trikala of Corinth in the celebrated Peloponnesos, of the illustrious Notaras family. His father was named Demetrios, and his mother was Kalee. We do not know the Saint’s baptismal name. The wondrous lad, therefore, was the scion of such parents who, even when his nails were still baby-soft, gave him over to the learning of sacred letters. Since he possessed a well-ordered spirit and a disposition for the good, within a few years he advanced considerably in his studies. At that time, the standard curriculum included the Holy Scripture, the Psalter, and the Octoechos.

As one possessed of good sense and prudence from his youth, the holy one gave himself to the study and reading of the Holy Scripture, wherein he found lasting and beneficial truths, sufficient to usher joy into his soul. He was made to understand thereby and be fully assured of the deceit and error which are found in worldly and vain studies under the guise of human wisdom. At the same time, he understood well and rightly the emptiness and fickleness of this wily and false world. For these reasons, he turned away from guile and dedicated all his desire and aim to the only summit of good things, to his Fashioner, that is, his God. As one sensible, that he might succeed in his goal, he acknowledged as mighty hindrances to himself homeland, family, distinction, wealth, the honor of men, the swelling of lust and the heat of youth, and the violence of the passions. When he attained his majority, with manliness of soul and valor rare in our times, he turned his back on all these things–wealth, glory, pleasures, parents, kinfolk–as dung. As a swallow flees the snare, Gerasimos departed his homeland, Trikala, and repaired to the island of Zakynthos. He was about twenty years old when he departed his Turkish-held homeland for the Venetian-controlled Greek island of Zakynthos.


Here, it appears Gerasimos became a true imitator of Abraham, who obeyed God when told by Him, "Go forth from thy land, and from thy kindred" (Genesis 12:1). In like manner, Gerasimos left his land and kindred, in order that he might be able to find with more east the One Whom he solely desired and upon Whom all his desire steadily gazed.

Having, therefore, reasoned and recapitulated these things in his mind, as an elect vessel, Gerasimos raised his heart and established it firmly. After spending a certain time on the island of Zakynthos, through hardship and asceticism, he was delivered from every troublesome thought of homeland, kinfolk, wealth, and the remaining host of bodily cares. When the holy man was between twenty-two and twenty-five, he departed Zakynthos and went about with longing and spiritual purpose, while practicing toils and bodily struggles, in various places and villages of Greece. Having collected from each place, as an industrious and laborious honey-bee, the honey of God-pleasing conduct of life, he resolved to go to the spiritual and peaceful Holy Mountain of Athos, that he might lead there the monastic life the benefit of his soul.

The Saint, therefore, went to the Holy Mountain with the intent of living the monastic life. Thereupon, he dwelt and associated with the fathers in that place. The holy Gerasimos, although a righteous man himself, nonetheless benefited greatly from their company and example, so that divine longing of virtue was inflamed even more in his heart. Even before he received the Angelic Schema and became a Great Schema monk, he was enriched with all the virtues, which produce and complete a true monk, those virtues being obedience to all the commands of those who shone forth as luminaries in this Angelic Schema. He, too, mounted the heights of the Angelic Schema and was made perfect in the Great Schema. While a monk on Athos, Gerasimos’ heart burned with the desire to visit Constantinople. He went to the patriarchate, Hagia Sophia, and other shrines of the Orthodox, which moved him to tears. He then returned to Athos and continued his ascetic struggles.

Holy Land

Saint Gerasimos spent considerable time on that hallowed mountain of Athos. His desire, however, was to see and venerate the holy places of Jerusalem, where verily the great Mystery of the redemption of the race of man was energized on account of the oeconomy of the Incarnation of the Son and Logos/Word of God. Being aflame always with love for his beloved Master he wished to serve in the Life-Giving and Life-Deriving Tomb of our Lord, as a lamp-lighter, for an entire year. Since the Turks were in control of the area at that time, the Holy Sepulchre was locked up every night by them. Saint Gerasimos spent much time alone at night in that blessed precinct.

Father Gerasimos, having already attained thirty years of age, was canonically ordained by the most blessed Patriarch Germanos of Jerusalem (1537-1579). The holy man stayed with the Patriarch for twelve whole years, serving with proper fervor. The Saint desired to go from Jerusalem to the Jordan River so that he might offer veneration in that place. Thereupon, with the leave of the Patriarch, who was his elder, he sent and spent of a sufficient number of days.

From Jerusalem, then, the righteous man passed over, in 1548, to Cyprus, and then to Crete, which was occupied by the Latins (Roman Catholics) with the help of the Venetians. The Orthodox Christians were persecuted and driven out. Through his presence, Saint Gerasimos was emboldening and offering comfort to the Orthodox faithful through his preaching and his life of prayer.

Having rested there a short while, he returned, after being gone for twenty years, to the island of Z1550akynthos. The year was 1550 when he ascended the mountains on that island and there he found a cave, near the sea, which was a precipitous place and difficult to traverse. He inhabited that place for five years, pursuing eagerly the ascetic life and never shrinking from work. The difficult terrain and the harshness of that place–which to this day bears the name of the Saint. Saint Gerasimos also maintained his strict regimen both before and after his building of a monastery in Kephalonia.

The astonishment raised among the islanders on account of the Saint’s angelic life and fame was incredible. Saint Gerasimos, as an august vessel of the Holy Spirit and pure dwelling-place of Divine grace, had virtue of humility, which is the sole and true guardian of virtue, and this only is capable of bringing the creature to his Creator. The Lord appointed and sent to the island of Kephalonia such a divinely inspired and God-bearing man that he might enrich the faithful of the island with the grace of his virtues and the gifts of his Wonders (miracles). The island also wouild obtain a compassionate protector and mediator.

The Saiint, therefore, departed Zakynthos in 1554, and finally came to the island of Kephalonia, on which it was the good pleasure of the All-Good God to implant and deposit as a treasure, perpetually, a guardian, protector, and ready helper. At that time, the Venetians ruled over the freedom-lovinig Kephalonias. The papists, and in particular, the Jesuits, were zealous in their proselytizing. Father Gerasimos chose this island as his dwelling-place; or should we say this is where God sent His Angel? Our holy father found himself a small cave above teh village of Argostoli, which was commonly called Spelia. At Spelia, the Saint dwelt eleven months. The cave remains to this day and still preserves the signs of the Saint’s occupancy. Thus, in the minds of many, Saint Gerasimos’ name and memory abide firm and alive in that cave.

The Saint’s Repose

The time arrived for the righteous man to leave this temporal life and pass over to the everlasting and boundless one, so that he might receive more purely and closely Him Whom he solely loved and yearned for with his entire soul from his youth. Saint Gerasimos was seventy years old, and perhaps a little more, when he received the divine revelation that the time of his departure had arrived.

Therefore, with humility and gratitude, he gave thanks to his Creator, for He vouchsafed him, through His grace, to pass through the time of this fleeting life in accordance with His Divine will. After the holy man comforted his spiritual children with these and other spiritual counsels, he confirmed and blessed the nuns.Then, cheefully and joyfully, he surrendered his blessed soulinto the hands of his Maker and Fashioner, Whom he loved from his earliest youth and for Whom he labored faithfully and continually, so that he was deemed worthy to hear that desired voice, "Well done, O good, and faithful slave! Enter into the joy of thy Lord {Matthew 25:21]. His final words were, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son and Logos of God, have mercy on me and receive my soul." His blessed falling asleep took place in 1579.

When the incorrupt holy relics of the Saint were uncovered, it was to the shame of the adversaries but a boast to the Orthodox Christians. The Saint’s holy relics were again found whole and intact, together with hsi sacred priestly vestments with which he was interred. His holy relics breathed forth an ineffable and wonderful fragrance. His holy relics performed many miracles and wonders. [Source: The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church]


"Glory Be To GOD
All Things!"

– Saint John Chrysostomos

+ + +

With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+ Father George

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