Our Holy Father Gerasim
This well-known saint first learned asceticism in the Egyptian Thebaid, but then went to the Jordan and there founded a commun-ity of about seventy monks which remains to this day. He formu-lated a particular rule for his monastery: the monks spent five days a week in their cells weaving baskets and mats; they were allowed no heat in their cells; five days they ate only a little dry bread and a few dates; the monks had to leave their cells open, even when they went out, so that anyone could, if he wanted something, take it from another's cell. On Saturdays and Sundays they gathered in the monastery church, ate together boiled vegetables, and took a little wine in God's praise. Then each monk brought and placed before the feet of the abbot the work he had done in the preceeding five days. Each monk had only one garment. St Gerasim was an example to all. In the Great Fast he ate nothing but what he received in Holy Communion. He once saw a lion which was roaring with pain, hav-ing a thorn in its paw. Gerasim came near to it, crossed himself and pulled the thorn out. The lion was so tame that it followed the elder to the monastery and remained there until the latter's death. When the elder died, the lion also succumbed to illness after him and died. St Gerasim was present at the 4th Council in Chalcedon in 451, in the time of Marcian and Pulcheria, and though he at first inclined a little towards the Monophysite heresy of Eutyches and Dioscorus, he was at that Council a great champion of Orthodoxy, having been turned from heresy by St Euthymius. Of Gerasim's disciples, the best-known is St Cyriac the Solitary. St Gerasim entered into rest and into the eternal joy of his Lord in 475.
* From "The Prologue from Ochrid", by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic - Lazarica Press - Birmingham 1985
Four Book Edition - Translated by Mother Maria - Dates based on old church calendar.
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