St Gerard

St. Gerard was born on April, 6th, 1726, in Muro, Italy. He was not a well child and his mother worried about him constantly. His father was a tailor who died when Gerard was 12 years of age.

After his father's death, Gerard's mother decided he should commence work for the next 4 years he served an apprenticeship with a local tailor. After becoming a fully qualified tailor Gerard spent some time working for a Bishop, but tiring of this, he opened his own tailoring shop.

He was a very good tailor and was kind to the poor who did not have to pay for their clothes. All his life Gerard had tried to love God and it was his fervent wish to become a priest. However, his family prevailed upon him to remain at home. It would have broken his mother's heart if he had left as he was not very healthy.

In April 1749, when Gerard was 23 years old, the Redemptorists priests came to give a mission in his town. After listening to them, Gerard decided he would like to join the Redemptorists. This was the way he thought he could best love God.

Gerard's mother, knowing he wished to leave with the Redemptorists, locked him in his room. However, Gerard was determined to leave so he tied his bed sheets together and escaped via his bedroom window.

He followed the departing priests and asked if he could join them but they declined to accept him saying he was not healthy or strong enough for the rigours of the Redemptorists life. They suggested he instead become a brother.

Accepting this advice, Gerard lived as a brother for the 6 years. He continued to work hard for the poor, giving them food and clothing. Soon the brothers and the towns people began to see how kind he was.

God had given him a special power; that of curing the sick people who came to see him. Gerard prayed to God often and trusted that God would help him to help others.

Gerard is well known for the help he gives to mothers. He once helped a mother who was having difficulty with childbirth. She asked Gerard to pray for her, which he did, and her baby was born healthy. Many mothers since then have asked Gerard to bless their children.

When he was 29, Gerard died after a short illness. He was canonised in 1904.