Saint Gerasimos the Jordanite
Celebration Date: 04/03
Saint Gerasimos the Jordanian was born in Lycia in the 5th century AD. from pious and humble parents and from infancy dedicated to God. At a young age he embraced the sect of the Monophysites, seduced by the followers of the heretical pseudo-patriarch Theodosius, a fanatical Monophysite Egyptian monk, who during the absence of Patriarch Juvenalius (422 – 458 AD), assisted and under the reign of Eudokia (see August 13 ) – before her conversion to the orthodox doctrines, she managed to seize the patriarchal throne of Jerusalem and carry out unspeakable cruelties for twenty months (451 – 453 AD). Even this sacred church of the Resurrection became the theater of indescribable scenes, and moreover the tumult spread throughout Palestine.
The Monophysites do not admit that in the person of Christ the divine and human natures are united “indistinctly, unconfusedly, inseparably and indivisible”, but they assert that the divine nature of Christ absorbed His human nature and therefore Christ has only one nature.
However, Saint Gerasimos quickly realized his mistake, because he was a man of good will and a humble attitude. He had the good habit of visiting and consulting with spiritually sanctified people. From a learned ascetic named Euthymios who lived as an ascetic in the desert of Rouva, he was taught the truth about both natures of Christ, realized his mistake and returned to the Church again.
Then it took place in 451 AD. monk in the desert of Jordan, where he practiced in silence. Later, when many monks gathered around him, who sought his enlightened guidance, he founded a synovial monastery near the town of Vaithagla.
Saint Gerasimos was strict, but only to himself. To others he was eloquent and indulgent. He ate little, as much as was necessary to sustain life, and he also slept very little. In fact, he taught that whoever wants to live longer should sleep less, because too much sleep makes the body tender and therefore powerless in labor and vulnerable to diseases.
Saint Gerasimos’ teaching about sleep is essentially a reason for exercise. By restricting sleep and temperance, the flesh (the carnal mind) becomes accustomed to submit to the spirit. With exercise and continuous prayer, especially with the single-minded prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me”, the mind concentrates in the space of the heart, which is its natural place, and acquires an uninterrupted memory of God.
Saint Gerasimos became so familiar with God and protected “in the image and likeness” of the Saints that he also tamed wild beasts and performed many miracles. He even got a servant to carry water, as drinking water was at a distance. Once, while the lion was sleeping, passing merchants stole the lion. And because the Blessed One suspected that the lion had eaten the ono, he punished it to carry that water. Until, one day, when the merchants passed by the same spot again, the lion recognized the stolen one and returned it safely to Osios. He then released it from this task and let it return to the mountain. And when the Blessed One slept in peace, the lion came and died upon his grave.
When on January 19, 473 AD Saint Euthymius the Great fell asleep (see January 20), Saint Gerasimos saw in a vision while he was praying in the Lavra, the end of the Saint. This is referred to in the story of Saint Kyriakos the Retired (see September 29), who accompanied Saint Gerasimos to the funeral of the great Saint of the Church.
Two years after the end of Saint Euthymius, in 475 AD. during the reign of Patriarch Anastasios I of Jerusalem (458 – 478 AD), Saint Gerasimos slept in peace. He assigned the succession of the Lavra to his co-practitioners Stefanos and Basilio.
Note: As the synaxarist of Agios Nicodemus informs us, Saint Gerasimos lived in the time of Constantine the Great in the 7th AD. but something that doesn’t seem likely.