St. Gerard Majella, C.Ss.R.
St. Gerard was born in Muro, a small town in southern Italy, on April 6, 1726. His father died while Gerard was still young, forcing him to be apprenticed to a tailor. His frail health, quiet disposition, and gentle ways made him an easy target for bullying by fellow workers and employers.
His great love for Jesus crucified caused him to lead a very ascetical lifestyle. He applied to the Redemptorists but was rejected because of his poor health. On his insisting, however, he was reluctantly accepted and sent to the novitiate with a note saying, “I am sending you a useless lay brother.”
Catholics throughout the world honor him as the patron saint of expectant mothers and of families, and his reputation as “The Mothers’ Saint” continues to this day.
St. Gerard was professed in July 1752, and quickly disproved the prediction of his uselessness by his excellent service as porter, tailor, and sacristan. He quickly gained a reputation for sanctity, which attracted people to him looking for guidance in the spiritual life. He had a remarkable gift for sensing the deep interior reality of a person.
The Mother Saint
He came to be called “The Wonderworker” because of his ability to bring relief to the sick and the poor and of his care for women in childbirth.
He died on October 16, 1755 of tuberculosis at the age of 29. Catholics throughout the world honor him as the patron saint of expectant mothers and of families, and his reputation as “The Mothers’ Saint” continues to this day. He was canonized in 1904.