St. Gerard Majella was born in 1726 in the southern Italian town of Muro. The son of a tailor, he himself became apprenticed to a tailor at the age of twelve, around the time of his father's death. As he grew up, Gerard spent a lot of time in prayer and he developed a great love for God. He became known for his kindness to people and led a frugal life, so that he could share his earnings with the poor.
When he was 23, a team of Redemptorists gave a mission in Muro. Gerard ws so impressed by them that he decided, against the wishes of his family, to join the Order. The missioners, thinking that Gerard was not able for the religious life because of his poor health, refused to accept him. But Gerard persisted with his request and eventually left home to become a Redemptorist Brother.
As a religious, Gerard lived a life of prayer. He was particularly faithful to prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, meditation on the passion of Jesus, and devotion to our Blessed Mother. His work, which varied from cleaning and cooking to giving spiritual advice, especially in the matter of confessional to many people who sought it, was an inspiration to all. He was well-konwn too for his love for people, in particular the poor and distressed.
At the age of 29 he got tuberculosis and, though it caused hin much pain, suffered it courageously as the will of God and did not complain. He died on the 16th of October, 1755. He was declared a Saint by Pope Pius X in 1904. His feast day is on October 16th.
Today, St. Gerard had won the love and devotion of many for the numerous miracles attributed to his intercession. He is well known for his protection of expectant mothers and is recognised as Patron of Mothers and Babies. He is also venerated as Friend of the Poor and Saint of the Worker, and his special gift was as a friend and helper of those seeking to make a good confession
You can also read more of our Patron Saint on the Internet.
Prayer of Thanksgiving for a
O good St.Gerard, wonderful Patron of Mothers, deign to offer God my heartfelt gratitude for the great blessing of Motherhood.
In my long hours of anxiety, uncertainty and doubt, your powerful intercession with Jesus my Lord and Mary my Queen, was my hope.
Obtain for me the grace ever to turn to thee in similar trials.
Help me to inspire other women with confidence in thy gracious assistance.
Aid all of us that, doing God's Holy Will here on earth, we may merit eternal life in heaven, through Christ our Lord, Amen.