A St. Gerard Biography
Patron Saint of Expectant Mothers
Even Saints must have a childhood and the Saint of Expectant
Mothers is no exception. Saint Gerard Majella was born
on April 6, 1726 in Muro, a small town in southern Italy. He was
a pale, sickly baby who was baptized that very day because he
wasnt expected to survive.
People misjudging Gerards strength and abilities would continue from that day onwards.
Gerards affinity for children and mothers began to show early in his life when he came home with a roll of soft white bread. Asked where he had got it, he said that the pretty lady with the baby had given it to him.
Nothing more was thought of this but Gerard kept coming home with rolls and naturally his mother became worried so one day she followed him. To her amazement his destination was the local church and she watched in awe as the infant Jesus left his mothers arms and came down to play with Gerard.
Gerard didnt go straight into holy orders as one might expect but instead followed the path of many a dutiful son, becoming a tailor like his father.
WThis didnt stop the miracles that happened around him, Such as the poor man who came to him with material for a suit of clothes. When Gerard measured the cloth it was too short and the man was horrified, as he had no money to pay for more. Gerard simply said calmly that he must have made a mistake so let him measure the cloth again. Miraculously it grew beneath his fingers so that the man not only had his suit of clothes but a length of cloth to match.
Gerard became successful enough that he was able to support his mother and sisters after his fathers death but he gave any remaining money to the poor to the extent that his family became concerned over his neglect of himself. Similarly he spent any time where he was not working in prayer. In time he formed the desire to enter the service of the Lord but three times he was refused on the basis that he would not be physically strong enough for the demanding life of a lay brother.
Eventually his persistence won over the Redemptorists and they agreed to give him a trial. Everyone was amazed and embarrassed because this young man who they believed would be of no use proved able to do the work of four men and even the impossible in reading mens minds and knowing what was wanted of him before the desire was expressed.
The miraculous continued around him and his faith in Gods will never wavered despite hard times and accusations about his chastity. Part of his work had been helping girls who wanted to enter the convent even securing dowries for those whose families could not afford them.
However in 1754 a young woman named Neria Caggiano decided after
three weeks that convent life was not for her. To cover herself
on her return home she began spreading accusations about convent
life, when she was not believed she decided to strike at the good
name of Gerard in order to preserve her own. She wrote to Saint
Alphonsus making accusations concerning Gerards behaviour
with the daughter of a family he stayed with when on missionary
work. Saint Gerard refused to give credence to these slanders
by not arguing against them. Instead he retreated into dignified
silence and trusted Gods will. The young woman became deadly
ill and in fear for her life recanted everything she had said
thus clearing Saint Gerrard. He remained with the Redemptorists
and continued to be a source of miracles until his death at the
age of 29 on October 16th 1755.
Blessed Gerard 's final will on the door of his cell read
"Here the will of God is done, as God wills, and as long
as God wills." of this letter cannot be overstated, it is
one of the seven letters of the Catholic faith. Using a direct
no nonsense approach, he warns Christians against the unbelievers
with clear charges such as licentiousness, perversion, sexual
immorality, unnatural lust, slanderers of holy men, rejection
of authority and denial of Jesus Christ.
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