Gerasimos the Righteous of Jordan

March 4

This remarkable and renowned saint first learned about the ascetic life while he was in the Egyptian Thebaid. He then went to the Jordan and founded a community in which there were seventy monks. This community still exists today. He instituted a special rule for his monastery. According to this rule the monks spent five days a week in their cells weaving baskets and rush mats. They were never allowed to light a fire in their cells. Five days a week they ate only a little dry bread and a few dates. The monks were required to keep their cells open so that, when they went out, anyone could enter and remove whatever he needed from their cells. On Saturdays and Sundays they gathered in the monastery church. They had a common meal with a few vegetables and a little wine to the glory of God. Each monk would then bring in and place before the feet of the abbot that which he had made during the past five days. Each monk had only one robe. St. Gerasimos was an example to all. During Great Lent he did not eat anything except what he received in Holy Communion. On one occasion, he saw a lion roaring from pain because of a thorn in his paw. Gerasimos drew near to the lion, crossed himself and removed the thorn in his paw. The lion became so tame that he returned with Gerasimos to the monastery and remained there until the elder’s death. When Gerasimos reposed, the lion succumbed to sorrow for him and died. Gerasimos attended the Fourth Ecumenical Council (Chalcedon, 451) during the reign of Marcian and Pulcheria. Although at the beginning Gerasimos leaned toward the Monophysite heresy of Eutyches and Dioscorus (St. Euthymius dissuaded him from the heresy), he was a great defender and champion of Orthodoxy at the Council. Of all the disciples of Gerasimos, the most famous was St. Cyriacus the Recluse. St. Gerasimos died in the year 475, and passed on to the eternal joy of his Lord.

Source: St. Nikolai Velimirovic, The Prologue of Ohrid – Volume One.

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