Thursday, October 20, 2016

St Gerasimos’ Cave

St Gerasimos, the patron Saint of Kefalonia used to live in this cave, depicted below, before establishing a monastery, where his relics are currently located. St Gerasimos was born into the Notaras aristocratic family of Trikala Korinthias in 1506 AD. His parents were Dimitrios and Kallie Notara. His grandfather, Lucas, was the last Prime Ministerof Byzantium and a relative of Constantinos Palaeologus, the Emperor of the Byzantine Empire.

On completion of his excellent education, he toured all the sacred places in Greece. He went to Constantinople on a pilgrimage. He then moved on to Mount Athos, the Garden of the Virgin Mary, where he was ordained a monk. He later moved to the Holy Land, where he served for 12 years and was ordained to the priesthood. He wished to seek peace, therefore he left, moving on to Crete and then to Zakynthos.
St Gerasimos eventually ended up in Kefalonia in 1555, where he spent five years in a cave in Lassi (depicted in the pictures here), an area on the outskirts of Argostoli (the capital of Kefalonia). In 150 he established a convent, naming it New Jerusalem. The St had a famous motto, which he preached all his life: ‘Children, live in peace and do not be arrogant.’

The Saint passed away on August 15th 1579. However, he is commemorated on August 16th, due to the celebration of the Dormition of the Mother of God on the 15th August. His relics were uncovered on October 20th 1581 that is why he is also celebrated on this day. Therefore St Gerasimos is celebrated twice within a year.  

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