Saint Gerard
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Prayer Service



No one is worthless … every person, young or old, rich or poor, is an integral part of our human community, the universal church. We all have the capability to interact in ways that support our common purpose in this life: salvation. God makes good use of all His children, both in this world and the next, to assist those of us still on Earth in this goal. We are guided in His love, the way of salvation. Saint Gerard Majella is one such special child.

At twelve years old in eighteenth century Italy, Gerard went to work to support his family. With a deep sense of Christ's presence in his life, he seized every opportunity to imitate the Lord's Passion. Enduring suffering under a cruel foreman and later as an assistant to a difficult bishop, he found he could persevere where others failed. He attributed all to God's will. Gerard chose to endure any hardship wherever he believed God's will was being served.

Later, wishing to dedicate his life to serving Christ, he found he was unwanted by the religious communities he sought out. He finally found a home with the Redemptionists, who were reluctant to accept him because of his frailty and poor health. Disproving his superiors' claims that he was "useless," Gerard was able to do the work of several men. He also began to perform amazing acts of faith, imitating the works and healings of Jesus.

Known in his own lifetime as the "wonder worker," Saint Gerard's greatest claim to fame was the miraculous cure of a mother and infant during a life-threatening childbirth. Desperate in her hours of labor and close to death, the mother called for a handkerchief belonging to Gerard to be laid upon her. The saint had left the handkerchief with her long before, saying simply that she would need it one day. The child and mother were delivered safely from harm. The handkerchief became a powerful relic, with many other instances of mothers and their babies being cured. Because of these cures, Gerard has become the patron saint of motherhood.

Today, an outpouring of love and admiration for St. Gerard flows from mothers and fathers all over the world. A powerful example of this respect for the great saint is a prayer service held each year close to Mother's Day at Sacred Heart Parish in Stamford, Connecticut. Tuesday evening, May 16, 2000, a service venerating Gerard brought hopeful couples together with those giving thanks for his intercessions. Many children were present. He was honored as patron saint of motherhood, and more broadly of parents and their children, and all present were encouraged to receive the blessing of the handkerchief and honor his first class relic.
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