Deir Ḥajla - GERASIMUS


(4) <Cyriacus receives the monastic habit from Euthymius’ hands but being too young, to remain in his laura, is sent by the Saint to Gerasimus’ monastery on the Jordan.> Saint Gerasimus received him. but, seeing that Cyriacus was still young, ordered him to stay in the coenobium, “hewing wood, carrying water” <Jos. 9:21> and cooking; and he performed every service with great zeal, spending the day in wearing work and toil, and the night in his devotions to God, standing for the canonic service of the psalmody with added zeal after the (day’s) labour.

(5) Though he served in the coenobium, Cyriacus led the way of life of the anchorites, eating on alternate days, only bread and water, touching neither oil, wine nor eucration, so that the great Gerasimus observing the asceticism of the young man’s life, regarded him with respect and affection. Hence (Gerasimus), satisfied (with his ascetic powers) began to take Cyriacus with him into the desert of Rouba in the period of the holy Lent: there they lived in seclusion until Palm Sunday, taking the Communion every Sunday from the great Euthymius’ hands. A short time having elapsed, when great Euthymius went to rest in Christ, Saint Gerasimus saw his soul guided by angels and carried to heaven. Then he took Abba Cyriacus and ascended to Euthymius’ monastery, and, after having rendered him the last honours, he turned back. During the 9th year of Abba Cyriacus stay in Palestine, our great father Gerasimus died and was adorned with the crown of the righteous, on March 5 of the 13rd indiction <AD 475>.

(6) When the brothers Basilius and Stephen took into their hands the leadership (of Gerasimus’ monastery), Abba Cyriacus left and went to the laura of Saint Euthymius. He was received by the hegumen Elias, took a cell and retired into in the 27th year of his life.

(transl. Leah Di Segni)

Cyriacus in Gerasimus’ monastery on the Jordan, AD 467-475.
Key quotation(s): 
Jos. 9:21