First church consecrated in honor of St. Gerasimos the Hymnographer, canonized in 2023

Veria, Macedonia, Greece, March 14, 2024

Photo: Romfea Photo: Romfea     

In January 2023, the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople canonized Elder Gerasimos (Mikragiannanitis) the Hymnographer (†1991), known as an ascetic and the author of more than 2,000 Church services.

On December 7, his feast was celebrated for the first time by Metropolitan Panteleimonos of Veria, who was a spiritual child of St. Gerasimos.

And on Tuesday, March 12, the first church dedicated to the new saint was consecrated at Panagia Dobra Monastery in Veria, in northern Greece.

Photo: Romfea Photo: Romfea     

The blessed event began with the celebration of Orthros in the monastery catholicon. Then, relics from holy martyrs were carried in procession to the new chapel, where Met. Panteleimonos, the head of the monastic brotherhood, consecrated the altar together with a number of visiting hierarchs, including Metropolitan Theophylaktos of Tripoli of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, reports Romfea.

Following the consecration, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated, attended by monastics from throughout the diocese and from Mt. Athos, and a crowd of Orthodox faithful.

In his word following the consecration, Met. Panteleimonos spoke about his spiritual father St. Gerasimos, emphasizing that those who knew him were “inspired by the purity of his soul and taught by the simplicity of his life, by his love for God, by his humility, by his obedience and faith.”

Photo: Romfea Photo: Romfea     

“We will feel him praying with us, blessing us, and supporting us in our daily struggle, comforting us in our difficulties, as he too faced many challenges in his monastic life,” the Metropolitan said.


And we have a duty to utilize this blessing and grace to become, according to the foremost Apostle Paul, of the household of God (Eph. 2:19). For this is our destiny, this must be the purpose of our lives, whether we are laypeople, monks, nuns, or clergy, and we must strive to achieve this through our struggle, our prayer, our Sacramental life, our effort to live in the presence and grace of God. Because if we don’t become familiar with God in this life, we won’t be able to live with Him when we leave this world.

St. Gerasimos became a saint not because he was canonized, but because he lived by the grace of God and shared in the same life of the saints, “so that none of the pleasures and delights of this world, no worldly honor and human glory should attract him more than the love of God and His presence.”

Thus, the saint lived “without differing in any way from the saints of old.”

The hierarch also noted that with the consecration of the new church and altar, the monastic brotherhood’s long-held desire was finally fulfilled.

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