St. Gerasimos is worshipped in Kefalonia as the patron saint and the Monastery in his name is a beloved and blessed place for Kefalonian people. Saint Gerasimos’ remains are kept in a glass display above his tomb.
Saint Gerasimos was born into the affluent and aristocratic Notaras family in 1506. He was ordained a monk at Mount Athos and later spent 12 years of his life in Jerusalem. He came to Kefalonia in 1555 after roaming in Crete and Zakynthos.
During the first five years, he lived in a cave near Lassi and he later moved to the area near Valsamata where the Monastery of Saint Gerasimos was established. He founded a monastery that cared for the underprivileged and served as a charitable institution.
Kefalonians believe that Saint Gerasimos protects and heals them from sicknesses. In honor of the saint who protects them, many islanders name their children after Saint Gerasimos.
Saint Gerasimos’s body is kept and maintained in a glass display at the Monastery since it was never decomposed. Following his death, his body was buried twice and unearthed intact, prompting the church to declare him a saint. Kefalonians all across the world continue to worship and pray to him.
In 1953, soon after a huge earthquake that destroyed 90% of the island, several people claimed to have seen Saint Gerasimos comforting and caring for the injured and stranded inside homes and buildings.
On August 16th, feast day of Saint Gerasimos, his body is passed over sick and injured people, as it is believed it can heal them. On several occasions, his body is on display inside the Monastery’s church during liturgy.