St. Gerard Majella
GERARD was born in Muro, Italy, on April 23, 1726. His father, a tailor, died when the boy was twelve, leaving the family in poverty. Gerard could not join the Capuchins because of ill health, but he was accepted by the Redemptorists as a lay brother. He served as sacristan, gardener, porter, infirmarian and tailor.
Even during his life Gerard was called "the wonder-worker" because so many miraculous things happened through his intercession. He was given extraordinary knowledge. He had a heroic spirit of penance which caused him to suffer in silence when falsely accused of immoral conduct by an evil woman who later confessed her lie. Because of this or because he helped a woman on the verge of childbirth, be is invoked as a patron of expectant mothers.
Gerard died of tuberculosis in 1755 at the age of twenty-nine. His last request was that this small note be tacked to his door: "Here the will of God is done, as God wills, and as long as God wills." Brother Gerard was canonized by Pope St. Pius X, December 11, 1904.
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