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Friday, August 18, 2017

The Cave of Saint Gerasimos in Lassi, Kefallonia

The Cave of Saint Gerasimos in Kefallonia is on a hill above the tourist resort of Lassi, just 3 km from Argostoli, the capital of Kefallonia. This is the cave where Saint Gerasimos, the patron saint of the island, came to after having lived in a cave for five years in Zakynthos, living here for five years as well, leading a strict ascetic life.

Saint Gerasimos, originating from a noble family in Trikala of Corinth, became a monk in Mount Athos and after visiting many places around Greece and the Holy Land, he ended up in Kefallonia in 1555. He lived in this cave for five years, until 1560, when he went to the valley of Omala and rebuilt the Monastery of the Panagia. This monastery was later called the Monastery of Saint Gerasimos and it is today considered the most significant Orthodox pilgrimage site of the island. In fact, on August 16th, on the feast day of Saint Gerasimos, the most important religious festival takes place on the island.

The Cave of Saint Gerasimos is very narrow and has a small hole from where you can get a great view over Lassi and the Ionian Sea. Next to the entrance of the cave, a small church has been built dedicated to the memory of the Saint. A Divine Liturgy is officiated in this church mostly on important Orthodox celebrations.

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