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E06772: The Greek Life of *Gerasimos of the Jordan (ascetic in Palestine, ob. 475, S01507) recounts the life of its hero as a miracle working ascetic. Written in Palestine, in the 7th c. or later.

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posted on 2018-10-08, 00:00 authored by Bryan
Life of Gerasimos of the Jordan (CPG 7543 = BHG 693)


1. Gerasimos was born in Lycia where he became a monk in his youth. He came to the Holy Land and initially joined the Monophysite schismatic monks, but was converted to Chalcedonian Orthodoxy by *Euthymios (S01352).

2-4. Initially living as an anchorite, he established a coenobium and laura near Jericho, where a very strict style of asceticism was practised. The people of Jericho supported the monks with regular donations of provisions.

5-6. Gerasimos was miraculously notified of the death of Euthymios, through a vision of the latter’s soul being assumed into Heaven. The story was recounted by *Kyriakos of Souka (S01625), who was then Gerasimos’ disciple and accompanied him at the funeral of Euthymios.

7-9. Gerasimos healed the wounded leg of a lion which, from then on, followed and served him for five years, till the end of his life. The saint named the lion Iordanes. At Gerasimos’ death, Iordanes the lion happened to be away. When the lion returned and was shown its master’s tomb, it wept and died.

10. Gerasimos died on 5 March 475, and was succeeded in the leadership of his monasteries by Basileios and Stephanos, both of whom died in 481, and by the wonder-working Eugenios who died on 19 August 529.

Text: Papadopoulos-Kerameus 1897. Summary: Efthymios Rizos.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Gerasimos, anchorite, founder of a monastery in the Judean desert, ob. 475. : S01507 Euthymios, abbot of Palestine, ob.473 : S01352 Kyriakos, monk of the Monastery of Souka/Chariton, ob. 556 : S01625

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Other saint-related texts


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Palestine with Sinai

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - tomb/grave

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Composing and translating saint-related texts

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle during lifetime Miracles experienced by the saint Miracle with animals and plants Assumption/otherworldly journey Apparition, vision, dream, revelation

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - abbots Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits Animals Heretics


On the manuscript tradition of the text, see: The saint's story, without substantive differences is also recounted by the other versions of the Life (BHG 694, 694b, and 696c).


Gerasimos was the founder of the monastery of Kalamon, one of the main monastic centres of the Chalcedonian Orthodox community in the Judaean Desert. His figure is known from the History of the Monks of Palestine by Cyril of Scythopolis, especially from the Lives of Euthymios (E06468) and Kyriakos (E06733). Paragraphs 5 and 6 of this text are evidently derived from Cyril of Scythopolis, whereas the story of the lion in paragraphs 7-9 is a reproduction of chapter 107 of John Moschus' Spiritual Meadow. These demonstrate that the extant text cannot be earlier than the mid 7th century.


Text: Papadopoulos-Kerameus, A., Άνάλεκτα ἱεροσολυμιτικῆς σταχυολογίας IV (St Petersburg, 1897), 175-184. Translation: di Segni, L., Nel deserto accanto ai fratelli, vite di Gerasimo e di Giorgio di Choziba (Bose, 1991), 65–79. Further reading: Beck, H.-G., Kirche und theologische Literatur im Byzantinischen Reich (Handbuch der Altertumswissenschaft XII.2.1, Byzantinisches Handbuch 2.1; Munich: C.H. Beck, 1959), 409. Demetrakopoulos, Ph., Όσιος Γεράσιμος ο Ιορδανίτης (Athens, 2007). Flusin, B., Miracle et histoire dans l’œuvre de Cyrille de Scythopolis (Paris: Études Augustiniennes, 1983). Grégoire, A., "La vie anonyme de S. Gérasime," Byzantinische Zeitschrift 13 (1904), 113-35.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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