– Commemorated on October 20 and August 16th
“Children, live in peace and do not be arrogant”.
Saint Gerasimus the New Ascetic of Cephalonia was born in the village of Trikkala in the Peloponessos of the prominent Notaras family. He was born in 1509. He lived a life of asceticism on Mount Athos, and then in Palestine, where he fasted for forty days. Having received the Patriarch’s blessing for a life of silence, St Gerasimus withdrew to Zakynthos in solitude, eating only vegetation.
After five years he was inspired to go the island of Cephalonia, where he lived in a cave. He restored a church at Omala, and he founded a women’s monastery where he lived in constant toil and vigil for thirty years. He prayed on bent knees stretched out on the ground. After that, he settled on the island of Cephalonia, where he founded a convent. By his prayer he brought down rain, healed the sick, and foretold the future. He rested in the Lord on August 15, 1579. Gerasimus was a miracle-worker both during his life and after his repose.
Saint Gerasimus is commemorated on August 16th. Today’s Feast celebrates the uncovering of his holy relics in 1581.
Testimony of Archimandrite Daniel Gouvalis from St. Porphyrios the Kapsokalyvite
Once I went to his cell. It was the 19th of October, late in the afternoon, I interrupted him without wanting to, because at that hour he could be “found” in Cephallonia, at vespers for the feast of St. Gerasimos. He saw, as he told me, the priests, the bishops, countless people and heard the chanting. He described to me in exact detail what was taking place at that hour at St. Gerasimos on Cephallonia.
Once he telephoned Brussels where a spiritual child was serving in the navy there on a NATO submarine. He told him that there was a shoal-reef there where the submarine was circulating under the sea, and that they ought to be careful. The officer checked the spot that the Elder had pointed out, located the reef, and gave orders for the submarine to avoid that spot.
Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
For every man, peace of soul is precious. With those who have attained peace of soul, the body can be in constant motion; in work, in pain, but their souls, affixed to God, always remain in unwavering peace. St. Seraphim of Sarov teaches: “It is necessary to concern oneself with all means in order to preserve peace of soul and not to be disturbed by the insults of others. That is why it is necessary, at all costs, to restrain yourself from anger with the help of vigilance over one’s self, preserving the mind and heart from indecent movements. For preserving peace of soul, it is also necessary to avoid judging others. By not judging and by silence, peace of the soul is preserved. When a man is in such a state of mind, he receives divine revelations. In order for man to be preserved from judging others, he must be vigilant over himself; he must not receive from anyone non-spiritual thoughts and he should be dead toward everything worldly. We must tirelessly guard the heart from indecent thoughts and influences. `With closest custody, guard your heart for in it are the sources of life.’ (Proverbs 4:23). From perpetual vigilance over the heart, purity is born, in which the Lord is seen according to the words of eternal truth: ”Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God “ (St. Matthew 5:8).
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič for Old Calendar date February 15, and New Calendar date February 28
About humility as a precursor of glory [honor]
by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič
“…And humility goes before honors [glory]” (Proverbs 15:33).
Here, the word is about true glory and not false glory; about glory that is eternal and not about glory that dies. Glory that is of man is glory that dies, and glory that is of God is eternal. Those whom men glorified are not glorified and those whom God glorifies are glorified. Our Lord said to the Jewish scribes: “How can you believe who receive glory [honor] from one another and do not seek the glory [honor] which is from the only God?” (St. John 5:44). See how our Lord makes a distinction between the glory from men and the glory from God. And about Himself, He said: “I do not receive glory from men” (St John 5:41). He who seeks glory from men travels the path of pride and he who seeks glory from God travels the path of humility. No one is glorified by God without humility. The saints of God were the most humble servants of God. The Most Holy Birth-giver of God [Theotokos] was adorned with overwhelming humility. To her great humility, she ascribed her being chosen as the Mother of God: “Because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid” (St. Luke 1:48). But the humblest of the most humble, our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, was the founder of asceticism. During His earthly life, humility always preceded glory.
Brethren, it must also be that way in our life if we desire true glory. For if humility does not precede glory, glory will never come.
O Lord Jesus, Model and Teacher of humility, our only glory and the Glorifier of all the humble and meek, inspire us with Your inexpressible humility.
To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.
The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič for Old Calendar date June 14, and New Calendar date June 27.
St. Paisios on the incorrupt Relics of the Ionian
Elder, could St. Spyridon have asked from God that his Relic remain incorrupt?
–No, how could that have happened? The Saints don’t ask for such things. God willed that his Relic remain incorrupt in order to help people. And behold how God arranges things! Because Kerkyra (Corfu), Cephalonia and Zakynthos are near Italy, and that it would be easy for people to be seduced by Catholicism, He placed a great barrier there: St. Spyridon, St. Gerasimos and St. Dionysios.
Amateur translation from Source: Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain, Words VI, On Prayer. The Holy Hesychasterion “St. John the Theologian”, Souroti, Thessaloniki
Apolytikion of Gerasimus of Cephalonia in the First Tone
Let us the faithful praise the divineGerasimus, 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 honour him.
Kontakion of Gerasimus of Cephalonia in the 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 Gerasimus, who is truly her deliverer and champion, who doth preserve her from all the harm of her foes.