December 7, 2023

Synaxarion of our Venerable Father Gerasimos Mikragiannanitis

By Haralambos Bousias

On the 7th of this month [December], we commemorate our Venerable and God-bearing Father Gerasimos Mikragiannanitis, Hymnographer of the Great Church of Christ.


Rejoicing with the Saints, hymnographer of the Saints,
Gerasimos, adorner of the Holy Mountain.


The most-venerable and shining new luminary of hymnography, the divinely-inspired hymn writer of the sacred accomplishments of the Saints, a city-founder in the desert of Athos, an inhabitant of the Skete of Little Saint Anna who dwelled together with virtue and divine wisdom, our bright father Gerasimos, who put into practice the shining ray of his theology, and in the end his soul was completely pure. In the world he was known as Anastasios-Athanasios Graikas and born in Droviani in the province of Delvino of Northern Epirus on the 5th of September in the year of salvation 1905. His most pious mother instilled deeply in his heart the teachings of the faith and an ecclesiastical consciousness. He received a comprehensive education in Droviani and Athens with the finest diligence. A monk-lover by nature, he was nourished at a young age by divine eros, and knowing the futility of the temporal he fled to Athos, where he was distinguished for his obedience, prayer and humility. He began his repentance in the Skete of Little Saint Anna and submitted himself to Meletios, the Elder of the Cell of the Honorable Forerunner, like metal to a coppersmith, becoming a useful vessel of the All-Holy Spirit. Later he submitted himself to the most venerable Abimelech. He richly received the divine gift of hymnography after he beheld a theophany brighter than the sun which showed him to be an equal to the hymnographers who shined of old. With his Elder Abimelech he settled in the Hut of the Dormition of the Theotokos, beyond the Cave of Saints Dionysios the Rhetor and Metrophanes. He took care to renovate this Hut and he built a most-solemn cave temple in the place of asceticism of the above-mentioned Venerables. An excellent theologian and defender of the Greek language, he called the ecclesiastical Greek language the "language of the angels", and composed numerous Sacred Services, Supplicatory Canons, Salutation Prayers, Encomia, Encomium Discourses and Synaxaria to cover liturgical needs. He slept the sleep of the righteous on the 7th of December in the year of our salvation 1991 and was buried next to the Hut of his ascetical battles awaiting the common resurrection of the dead. The compassionate Lord received his blessed soul and put it in a place of respite, where he celebrates with the Angels and is found worthy to be a most genuine friend of His, unceasingly interceding to Him on behalf of those who honor his most revered memory.

Through his holy intercessions, Christ God, have mercy and save us. Amen. 

Plagal of the First Tone. Ton synanarchon Logon.
In synergy with Grace you shined upon the world, as a hymn composer of Saints you were amazing in self-control, having dwelled in the Skete of Little Saint Anna, your perfume box contained the pinnacle of good character and prayer of the heart, Gerasimos, wherefore those who honor you with longing receive your fervent prayers.

Plagal of the Fourth Tone. Ti Ypermacho.
The keeper of Orthodox Tradition, composing melodious hymns of the accomplishments of the Saints, let us praise worthily, as a lover of prayer and dwelling place of humility and a spirit-driven mind, crying out with longing: Rejoice, Father Gerasimos.

Rejoice, newly shining renowned hymnographer and new adornment of Athos, sweet-toned kinnor of the Spirit, Gerasimos, who with longing hymned the contests of the Saints.

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