Omala, Kefalonia, Greece, August 17, 2023
The Orthodox faithful of Kefalonia were joined by pilgrims from throughout Greece and beyond for the celebration of the island’s patron saint yesterday.
St. Gerasimos of Kefalonia, a 16th-century hieromonk and hermit, is known as a great wonderworker who protects the faithful of the island. His incorrupt relics lie in the Monastery of St. Gerasimos in Omala, which was the center of the celebrations this week.
Pilgrims flocked to the monastery throughout Great Vespers on Tuesday evening. The service was celebrated by Bishop Nikiforos of Amori, Metropolitan Alexios of Nicaea, Bishop Chrysostomos of Evripou, the local hierarch Metropolitan Dimitrios of Kefalonia, and a multitude of priests, reports Ekklisia Online.
The next day, the same hierarchs celebrated Orthros and the Divine Liturgy. Thousands of Orthodox Christians joined in the celebration and came to the monastery throughout the day to venerate the relics of the Kefalonian patron.
In his homily, Met. Alexios of Nicaea spoke about the many virtues that St. Gerasimos possessed and how he should be an example for us all.
Following the Divine Liturgy, the traditional procession was held with the relics of St. Gerasimos, passing over a chain of believers lying on the ground, looking for the miraculous help of the saint and his incorrupt remains.
Thousands of faithful continued to come throughout the night to venerate the saint.
Orthodox Wiki gives the life of St. Gerasimos:
St. Gerasimos was born in 1509 in the tiny village of Trikala Corinthos, in the Peloponnesus and a decendant of the Notaras family, a well known Byzantine family during the reign of Constantine Palaiologos.  He was reared in piety by his parents, Demetrios and Kale, and studied the sacred writings. At a young age he visited Constantinople. It was during this visit that he was moved with compunction for the number of Christians who martyred and made the decision to commit his life to monasticism. With this in mind, he went straight to Mount Athos and remained for around five years. He then moved to the Holy Land and remained in Jerusalem for twelve years. He also visited Mount Sinai, Egypt and Crete; where he remained in a cave for two years. From there he went to Zakynthos, where he also remained in a cave for around five years, and at the age of around 50 ended up in a cave in Cephalonia.
In Kephalonia he restored a certain old church and built a convent around it, where it stands to this day at the place called Omala.
He was forewarned of the day of his death and finished the course of his life on August 15, 1570/79. The church commemorates him on August 16 to keep all honour to the Holy Mother on the fifteenth. His memory is also kept on October 20 being the transaltion of his relics.
His sacred relic, remain complete and incorrupt in the monastery. They distill a heavenly fragrance and work many miracles and are for the sanctification and veneration by the faithful. He has become the Patron of the island of Cephalonia and the protector of all its inhabitants and works as a powerful intercessor before God.
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