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Gelasius of Caesarea (Greek: Γελάσιος Καισαρείας; died 395) was bishop of Caesarea Maritima from 367 to 373 and from 379 to his death. He was also an author, though none of his work survives.

Gelasius participated in the First Council of Constantinople in 381. He was forced to surrender his position as bishop to the semi-Arianist Euzoius between the years of 373 and 379, because in matters of Christology he was a staunch Nicaean.[1]

According to Jerome, his writing was careful and polished, though he never published what he wrote.[2] However, in the fifth century Socrates Scholasticus cites some of his works,[3] and it seems that he wrote a sequence to Eusebius' Church History, preserved in the first fifteen chapters of Rufinus' tenth book added to Eusebius' history, which includes the legend of Helena's discovery of the True Cross.

Gelasius was nephew to Cyril of Jerusalem,[1] the most vigorous advocate for Jerusalem in the later fourth century, and at whose deathbed request Gelasius wrote his history.[4]

He is also the first to mention the rôle of Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great, in the finding (inventio) of the Holy Wood, the Cross of Christ in Jerusalem under the Temple of Venus on the hill known as Golgotha.[5]


  1. ^ a b Tixeront, Joseph. A Handbook of Patrology 1923, p. 210.
  2. ^ Tixeront, Joseph. A Handbook of Patrology 1923, p. 211.
  3. ^ Noted by Paul Stephenson, Constantine, Roman Emperor, Christian Victor, 2010:254f.
  4. ^ Stephenson 2010:255.
  5. ^ John Wortley, "The Wood of the True Cross," in Studies on the Cult of Relics in Byzantium up to 1204 (Farnham and Burlington 2009), VI 3. Cf. S. Borgehammar, "How the Cross was found, from event to medieval legend," Bibliotheca Theologiae Practicae 47 (Stockholm 1991) 54-5 and J.W. Drijvers, Helen Augusta: the mother of Constantine the Great and the legend of her finding the True Cross (Leiden 1991).
Titles of the Great Christian Church
Preceded by
Acacius of Caesarea
Bishop of Caesarea
367–373, 379–395
Succeeded by