Saint Gerasimos was present at the Fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon, where he defended the true faith from the false teachings. He also founded the great Lavra in Palestine famous for its strict and simple monastic rule that exists to this day. Steadfast and uncompromising on matters of faith, he was also compassionate and loving with people and animals.
Born in Asia Minor, he ascetised there as a hermit for many years before going to Palestine to establish the great Lavra. The monks lived under a strict monastic rule, staying in their sells praying and weaving baskets from Monday to Friday, and gathering for communal worship on Saturdays and Sundays. Each monk possessed only one garment and would leave the door of his cell open when he left it for others to take from it what they wanted.
One day as Saint Gerasimos was walking in the desert, he saw a lion in great pain from a thorn in its paw. Filled with compassion for the beast, he came to it made the sign of the cross and took out the thorn. The lion walked after the saint to the monastery and lived there until his death, dying from grief on the saint's grave soon after he died in 475.
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