17 March 2022 (MIA)
Macedonian Orthodox Church Calendar
Our Holy Father Gerasim
This well-known saint first learned asceticism in the Egyptian Thebaid, but then went to the Jordan and there founded a community of about seventy monks which remains to this day. He formulated a particular rule for his monastery: the monks spent five days a week in their cells weaving baskets and mats; they were allowed no heat in their cells; five days they ate only a little dry bread and a few dates; the monks had to leave their cells open, even when they went out, so that anyone could, if he wanted something, take it from another’s cell. On Saturdays and Sundays they gathered in the monastery church, ate together boiled vegetables, and took a little wine in God’s praise. Then each monk brought and placed before the feet of the abbot the work he had done in the preceeding five days. Each monk had only one garment. St Gerasim was an example to all. In the Great Fast he ate nothing but what he received in Holy Communion. He once saw a lion, which was roaring with pain, having a thorn in its paw. Gerasim came near to it, crossed himself and pulled the thorn out. The lion was so tame that it followed the elder to the monastery and remained there until the latter’s death. When the elder died, the lion also succumbed to illness after him and died. St Gerasim was present at the 4th Council in Chalcedony in 451, in the time of Marcian and Pulcheria, and though he at first inclined a little towards the Monophysite heresy of Eutyches and Dioscorus, he was at that Council a great champion of Orthodoxy, having been turned from heresy by St Euthymius. Of Gerasim’s disciples, the best known is St Cyriac the Solitary. St Gerasim entered into rest and into the eternal joy of his Lord in 475.
St. Patrick of Ireland is one of the world’s most popular saints. Apostle of Ireland, born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland, in the year 387; died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, 17 March, 461. Along with St. Nicholas and St. Valentine, the secular world shares our love of these saints. This is also a day when everyone’s Irish. There are many legends and stories of St. Patrick, but this is his story. Patrick was born around 385 in Scotland, probably Kilpatrick. His parents were Calpurnius and Conchessa, who were Romans living in Britain in charge of the colonies. Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in Confessions. After years of living in poverty, travelling and enduring much suffering he died March 17, 461. He died at Saul, where he had built the first church.