Gerasimos of Kephalonia

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Our venerable and God-bearing Father Gerasimos (Notaras) of Cephalonia (also Gerasimus the New Ascetic of Cephalonia) was a hermit, priest-monk, and wonder-worker of the sixteenth century. His repose is commemorated by the church August 16 yet his main feast day is celebrated on October 20.

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Life

St. Gerasimos was born in 1509 in the tiny village of Trikala Corinthos, in the Peloponnesus and a decendant of the Notaras family, a well known Byzantine family during the reign of Constantine Palaiologos. [1] He was reared in piety by his parents, Demetrios and Kale, and studied the sacred writings. At a young age he visited Constantinople. It was during this visit that he was moved with compunction for the number of Christians who martyred and made the decision to commit his life to monasticism. With this in mind, he went straight to Mount Athos and remained for around five years. He then moved to the Holy Land and remained in Jerusalem for twelve years. He also visited Mount Sinai, Egypt and Crete; where he remained in a cave for two years. From there he went to Zakynthos, where he also remained in a cave for around five years, and at the age of around 50 ended up in a cave in Cephalonia.

In Cephaloinia he restored a certain old church and built a convent around it, where it stands to this day at the place called Omala.

He was forewarned of the day of his death and finished the course of his life on August 15, 1570/79. The church commemorates him on August 16 to keep all honour to the Holy Mother on the fifteenth. His memory is also kept on October 20 being the transaltion of his relics.

His sacred relic, remain complete and incorrupt in the monastery. They distill a heavenly fragrance and work many miracles and are for the sanctification and veneration by the faithful. He has become the Patron of the island of Cephalonia and the protector of all its inhabitants and works as a powerful intercessor before God.


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Notes

  1. His grandfather was the brother of Lukas Notaras the President. The mansion - tower of Notaraion - in the Ano District of Trikala, is the location where Saint Gerasimos was born.

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