April 7, 2015

Saint Gerasimos of Byzantium (+ 1770)

St. Gerasimos of Byzantium (Feast Day - April 7)


You lived life as if bodiless O Father,
And received your lot in the city of the Bodiless.
The divine longing of Gerasimos raised him to Heaven.

Our Venerable Father Gerasimos, the Teacher, was born in Constantinople in the district of Ypsomathia (Samatya) to a pious family. Little is known of his early life. He had a reputation as a wise and educated man who was well regarded by the educated whom he consorted with.

When he traveled to the island of Patmos he became a disciple of St. Makarios Kalogeras, the Teacher of the Nation, at the famous seminary of Patmos which he founded. He became the rector of the seminary after the blessed repose of St. Makarios.

Having distanced himself from the cares of the world he received the monastic tonsure at the Royal and Patriarchal Monastery of Saint John the Theologian in Patmos, where he was later ordained deacon and priest. He lived a venerable life and was regarded as an excellent teacher and luminary to the students of the seminary.

When he fell ill from a calculus, he left for Smyrna for treatment. When this failed, he traveled to Crete where he reposed in 1770 and was buried in the Holy Trinity Monastery of Chania, which is otherwise known as the Tsangarolon Monastery.

When the monks from his monastery in Patmos learned of his repose, they traveled by boat to Crete where they asked that his holy relics be returned to his monastery. The monks of Holy Trinity Monastery refused this request, because they believed it was sent to them by God, however during a vigil, the holy right hand of the Saint was miraculously cut off while the Cherubic Hymn was being chanted, and so this treasured relic was returned to Patmos where it remains to this day and is a source of many healings for those who venerate it with faith.

The grace-flowing relic of St. Gerasimos was kept under the Holy Altar of the main church of the Monastery of the Holy Trinity Tsangarolon in Chania together with the relic of St. Akakios who reposed in this monastery, until 1821 when the Ottoman Turks set fire to the monastery, destroying this source and treasury of grace. Today his skull is still there, while the right arm of the Saint can be found at the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian in Patmos.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
In the world you persevered in asceticism, and your words shined with wisdom, having arrived at the utmost of passionlessness, you appeared as the sun in its crossing O blessed one, shining on all who honor you O divinely-minded one. Show them to be shearers of heavenly joy, Venerable Father Gerasimos.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Today the divine memory of Gerasimos, we celebrate with songs, crying out O faithful: Christ our only God, at the entreaties of Your Saint take pity on us.