The Venerable Gerasimus of Cephalonia
Our Venerable Father among the Saints, Gerasimus of Cephalonia grew up a pious young man and travelled to Mount Argos to become a monk. He then visited the Holy Lands, where he became an attendant at the Holy Sepulchre. Here, he was ordained a deacon and priest by Patriarch Germanus of Jerusalem. For forty days, Saint Gerasimus struggled in the desert beyond the Jordan, just like his namesake Saint, and then requested a blessing to live a life of solitude on the island of Zakynthos. Having spent much time in prayer and fasting, Saint Gerasimus felt a calling to travel to the nearby island of Cephalonia where he lived in a cave. He built a women’s monastery where he lived in asceticism for thirty years. Here, he achieved the heights of spirituality, being granted the gifts of wonderworking and healing. At the age of 71, the venerable one reposed in the Lord on August 15th. Because this is the feast of the Dormition, his celebration was moved to August 16th, but is more commonly celebrated on October 20th on the uncovering of his holy relics which were found incorrupt.
Ἦχος α’. Αὐτόμελον.
Τῶν Ὀρθοδόξων προστάτην καὶ ἐν σώματι ἄγγελον, καὶ θαυματουργὸν θεοφόρον νεοφανέντα ἡμῖν, ἐπαινέσωμεν πιστοὶ θεῖον Γεράσιμον· ὅτι ἀξίως παρὰ Θεοῦ ἀπείληφεν, ἰαμάτων τὴν ἀέναον χάριν· ῥώννυσι τοὺς νοσοῦντας, δαιμονῶντας ἰᾶται· διὸ καὶ τοῖς τιμῶσιν αὐτόν, βρύει ἰάματα.
Ἦχος γ’. Ἡ Παρθένος σήμερον.
Εὐχαρίστοις ᾄσμασι, τῶν Κεφαλλήνων ἡ νῆσος, προσκαλεῖται σήμερον, τῶν Ὀρθοδόξων τὰ πλήθη, μέγιστον, νεοφανέντα ἀγκωμιάσαι, καύχημα, Ὀρθοδοξίας ἀναφανέντα, τὸν Γεράσιμον τὸν θεῖον, τὸν ῥύστην ταύτης ὁμοῦ καὶ πρόμαχον.
Τῆς ὁμολογίας Χριστιανῶν, ἔθετό σε σὲ στῦλον, ἀδιάσειστον ὀ Θεός, τὸ σεπτόν σου σκῆνος, Γεράσιμε δοὺς πᾶσι, τοῖς ἐναντίοις λίθον, δεινοῦ προσκόμματος.
Let us praise divine Gerasimos the protector and champion of Orthodoxy, / An angel in the flesh and a God-inspired wonder-worker. / He received from God the gift of healing / And grants cures to those who honor him!
Today the island of Cephalonia / Calls upon multitudes of Orthodox to praise godly Gerasimos, / Boast of Orthodoxy, its defender and champion.