March 4, 2017

The Relationship Between St. Gerasimos of Jordan and St. Euthymios the Great

By St. Cyril of Scythopolis

Euthymios Delivers Gerasimos from the Influence of a Monophysite

When the news had circulated, as people reported that the great Euthymios had accepted the definition of the faith proclaimed at Chalcedon, all the monks were about to accept it, had they not been prevented by one Theodosius, in appearance a monk but in reality a precursor of Antichrist... Noting Theodosius’ utter shamelessness, the great Euthymios told the fathers not to share in his apostasy and so departed to the utter desert; on hearing of this, many anchorites adopted the same policy. At that time there was a great anchorite of Lycian origin, called Gerasimos, who after succeeding in the monastic life in his own homeland and displaying many combats against the spirits of wickedness had recently left his homeland and was practicing the anchoritic life in the desert by the Jordan. He with the other anchorites had been seduced by the false teaching of Theodosius; but on hearing from almost all the anchorites of the resplendent grace of the great Euthymios he went to him at Rouba, and after staying with him for a considerable time was persuaded to assent to the definition issued by the Synod of Chalcedon and break off his association with Theodosius, as did other anchorites also.

Gerasimos Would Commune from Euthymios Every Sunday During Lent

Two archimandrites [Martyrios and Elias] left Mount Nitria and journeyed to Palestine. They came to the wonderworking Euthymios, drawn by the report that circulated everywhere about him, and settled with him, each in his own cell... [Euthymios] used to take them with him to the desert of Coutila and Rouba on 14 January; they would stay with him there till Palm Sunday, in the company of the famous Gerasimos and other anchorites, who came each Sunday and partook of the spotless mysteries from the hands of the great Euthymios....

Blessed Savvas told the following story: "When I was in the monastery, after the death of blessed Theoktistos, I went up with Abba Longinus our superior to the great Euthymios in the month of January in order to send him on his way to the utter desert. Seeing me full of zeal, he took me with him. After we had spent some days at Rouba with Martyrios and Elias (the holy Gerasimos being there with us also), the great Euthymios, taking myself and the blessed Domitian, set of for the innermost desert.

Gerasimos Attended the Funeral of Euthymios

[Euthymios] spent sixty-eight years in the desert and died at the age of ninety-seven in the fifth consulship of the emperor Leo and the sixteenth year of his reign. The news, circulating through all the country, brought together an immense crowd of monks and laypeople. Indeed the most holy archbishop Anastasios also, bringing a great number of clerics and soldiers, arrived at the lavra, accompanied by Chrysippus, Gabrielius, and Fidus the deacon. From all parts assembled the anchorites of the desert, including our great father Gerasimos.

Gerasimos Saw the Ascent of the Soul of Euthymios

When the great Euthymios died in Christ, the holy Gerasimos saw his soul conducted by angels and carried up into heaven; taking Abba Kyriakos, he went up to his monastery and returned after burying his body.

From The Lives of the Monks of Palestine.