Saint Gerasimos is the protector Saint of Kefalonia. People feel so emotional when they talk about him and honor him with two processions.
Every visitor of Kefalonia feels obligated to visit the monastery of Saint Gerasimos.
The monastery of Saint Gerasimos is located west of Argostoli, in Omalos, close to the valley of 40 Pigadia. It is built in a beautiful location, surrounded by vineyards.
The structural complex is combined by the monastery and the new church dedicated to the saint, which was built after the catastrophic earthquake of 1953.
The relic of Saint Gerasimos is saved inside the monastery. During the translation of his relics, his body was found incorruptible and gave off a pleasant smell.
The Saint’s cave
In the old church’s interior is also the entrance for the cave of Saint Gerasimos. Accessing it can only be through a medium size hole. Here the visitor can see two strange phenomenons that people believe are done by the saint. The first one is that, although the hole is small, all people fit even overweight ones. The second is that no one gets dirty by the muddy liquid all caves have. It is worth mentioning that the depth of the cave reaches up 3m and in some parts worshippers go there crawling.
The residents of Kefalonia honor Saint Gerasimos with two processions all year around.
The first one is on August 16th, his death date and the second one on October 20th, the day of the translation of his relics. That his official celebration.
The saint’s relics are carried about 500m away from the church to an age long platen and a well, which – according to the local tradition – was dug by the saint himself.
Worshippers from all ver the world come to Greece in order to visit his relic.
Saint Gerasimos’ bios
Gerasimos Notaras, a monk from Trikala of Korinthos, came to Kefalonia in 1955. He was an offspring of the aristocratic family of Notarades. It is worth mentioning that his great grandfather Lukas Notaras was the last minister of Byzantium and a relative of Constantine Paleologos.
Gerasimos Notaras was well-educated and traveled to all the holy lands of Greece. He went to Constantinople and Agio Oros and became a monk.
Later he went to Crete, Zakynthos and ended his trip in Kefalonia, where he stayed for five years in the famous cave of Lassis,
His presence in the island during the difficult years of Venetian possession was catalytic. It is said that the island owns the predominance of greek language and Orthodox faith to the Saint.
He passed away on August 15th of 1579 and was acclaimed Saint by the Patriarchate. His memory is celebrated on October 20th, the date of his relics translation. His body was found untouched then and gave a pleasant smell.