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Saturday, February 29, 2020

Saint Germanus of Dobrogea

St. Germanus of Dobrogea (Feast Day - February 29)

Saint Germanus the Daco-Roman was born in the mid-fourth century, probably on the borders of Cassian and the Caves in the diocese of Tomis (in what is now Romania), and was related to Saint John Cassian. Saint Germanus, who was older than Saint John, was tonsured at one of the local monasteries when he was still a young man. The holy bishop Saint Theotimus I (Apr. 20) may have been his spiritual father.

In turn, Saint Germanus became the spiritual father, friend, and teacher of Saint John Cassian, instructing him in monastic perfection. They both lived at one of the monasteries of Dacia Pontica for a short time, and then worked together in Bethlehem from 380 to 385. Later, they traveled to Egypt and visited some of its cenobitic monasteries. They also visited the hermits of Nitria and Mount Sinai, seeking to benefit from their holy example and wise counsel.


Germanus and John went to Constantinople in 399 in order to be near Saint John Chrysostom, and around this time Germanus was deemed worthy of ordination to the holy priesthood. When Chrysostom was deposed and exiled in 404, the two saints journeyed to Rome in order to plead his case before Pope Innocent I.

Saint Germanus completed the course of his life in the early fifth century, perhaps at the monastery established by Saint John Cassian at Marseilles, or in one of the monasteries of Dacia Pontica. He was canonized by the Patriarchate of Romania in 1992.

The icon inscription on the Saint’s scroll is an abbreviated quotation from Psalm 17/18:1. It reads: "The Lord is my strength and deliverer."



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