The Greek Orthodox monastery of Deir Hijleh near Jericho commemorates St. Gerasimus, whose Laura was nearby. The history of the monastery is also linked to another historic narrative. It was Yeshua’s family who found refuge in a cave at the site during their flight from Herod the Great.
An underground chapel was built on the spot where they were believed to have spent the night.
St. Gerasimus was a monk and abbot of the 5th century CE who was born in the province of Lycia in the southern part of Asia Minor.
Gerasimus left his family wealth and worldly affairs to become a monk. About the middle of 5th C CE, he moved to Palestine and settled in the wilderness near the Jordan River. There he established a monastery and became known for his prayers and righteous life of asceticism.
There is a story that St. Gerasimos tamed a lion by removing a thorn from its paw then taught it obedience. The fable became widely known in the Christian world. He died circa 475 CE. His feast day is celebrated on March 4 by the Eastern Orthodox Church and on March 5 by the Roman Catholic Church.
By guided tour only - Highway 90 north on intersection with Highway 1