May 2, 2015

Saint Gervasios of Gomati, the Athonite and Fool for Christ

St. Gervasios the Fool (Feast Days - October 14 & First Saturday of May)

Saint Gervasios was born in Gomati of Halkidiki, but he lived as an ascetic and monk at the Sacred Monastery of Karakallou in Mount Athos. He lived in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and received from God the rare gift of being a Fool for Christ. This is how he came and went throughout the Holy Mountain.

In a manuscript of the late Dositheos Konstamonitou of Lesvos from 1845, the following is stated:

"Let us go to the revered Monastery of Karakallou. Here we find Venerable Gervasios, who comes from one of the neighboring villages of the Holy Mountain, from a village known as Gomati, in the province of Agios Ierissos. This Gervasios, abandoning the world and all therein, went straight to the above mentioned Monastery of Karakallou, and cutting off the hairs from his head, as well as cutting off a secular mindset, and removing his secular garments, he was dressed in the Angelic Schema of the Monks. Having received this schema, he did not just stop there, as most do today, but having received the Angelic Schema, he studied in every way and struggled to keep the works of the schema. Accordingly he imitated Symeon and Andrew the Fools, and he also became a Fool, walking around the entire Mountain, as if he was crazy. And when he reposed, that is when they recognized his holiness, from the divine grace and fragrance that his holy and revered relic had."

This report of Dositheos is the only source which we have to know anything about the life of Saint Gervasios.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.