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Statuary St. Gerard Majella

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St. Gerard Majella

St Gerard Majella (1726 – 1755) was born in Muro Lucano, Italy. St Gerard was a Redemptorist brother.He joined the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer in 1749. He is a Roman Catholic saint whose intercession is sought for children, unborn children, childbirth, mothers, expectant mothers, motherhood, falsely accused people, good confessions, lay brothers and Muro Lucano, Italy.

Background

The Redemptorists (Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer) were founded in 1732 by St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) at Scala, near Naples. They are essentially a missionary order dedicated to "preaching the word of God to the poor." Their apostolate consists principally in the giving of missions and retreats.

Life

Majella was born in Muro Lucano, Basilicata. He was the son of a tailor who died when Gerard was twelve, leaving the family in poverty. His mother then sent him to her brother so that he could teach Gerard to sew and follow his dad's footsteps, but the foreman was abusive. He kept silent, but soon his uncle found out and the man who taught him resigned from the job. He tried to join the Capuchin order, but his health prevented it. He joined the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer in 1749.

During his life, he was very close to the peasants and other outsiders who lived in the Neapolitan countryside. In his work with the Redemptorist community he was at different times, gardener, sacristan, tailor, porter, cook, carpenter, and clerk of works on the new buildings at Caposele.

At age 27, Gerard became the subject of a malicious rumor. An acquaintance named Neria accused Gerard of having had relations with a young woman. When confronted by Alphonsus Ligouri regarding the accusations, Majella remained silent. She later recanted and cleared him.

Some of the miracles attributed to him include: restoring life to a boy who had fallen from a high cliff; he blessed the scanty supply of wheat belonging to a poor family, and it lasted until the next harvest; several times he multiplied the bread that he was distributing to the poor. One day he walked across the water to lead a boatload of fishermen through stormy waves to the safety of the shore. He was reputed to have had the gift of bilocation and the ability to read consciences.

His last will consisted of a small note on the door of his cell saying, "Here the will of God is done, as God wills, and as long as God wills." He died on October 16, 1755 in Caposele, Campania, of tuberculosis, aged 29.

Patron of Mothers

One miracle in particular explains why Gerard Majella become known as the special patron of mothers. A few months before his death, Gerard visited the Pirofalo family and accidentally dropped his handkerchief. One of the Pirofalo girls spotted the handkerchief moments after he'd left the house, and she ran after Gerard to return it. "Keep it," he said to her. "You may need it some day." Years later when the girl--now a married woman--was on the verge of losing her life in childbirth, she remembered the words of the saintly Brother. She asked for the handkerchief to be brought to her. Almost immediately the pain disappeared and she gave birth to a healthy child. This was no small feat in an era when only one out of three pregnancies resulted in a live birth, and word of the miracle spread quickly. Because of the miracles God worked through Gerard's prayers with mothers, the mothers of Italy took Gerard to their hearts and made him their patron. At the process of his beatification one witness testified that he was known as "il santo dei felice parti"--the saint of happy childbirth. This devotion has become very popular in North America, both in the United States and Canada.

Veneration

Gerard Majella was beatified in Rome on January 29, 1893, by Pope Leo XIII. He was canonised less than twelve years later on December 11, 1904, by Pope Saint Pius X. St Gerard's Church in Wellington, New Zealand, built in 1908, was the first church to be dedicated to Gerard Majella. The feast day of Saint Gerard Majella is October 16. He was featured on an Italian 45-euro postage stamp in May 2005. The St. Gerard Majella Annual Novena takes place every year in St. Josephs Church, Dundalk, Ireland. This annual nine-day novena is the biggest festival of faith in Ireland.

In 1977, St. Gerard's chapel in St. Lucy's Church (Newark, New Jersey) was dedicated as a national shrine. Each year during the Feast days which include October 16, there are the traditional lights, music, food stands and the street procession. Devotees visit the Shrine also throughout the year to pray to and petition the help of this Miraculous Wonder Worker.

The League of St Gerard (Redemptorists, Clapham, London) provides spiritual support and prayers for all expectant mothers and families.

Two towns in Quebec, Canada, are named in his honour: one in the Monteregie region and another in the Lanaudiere region.

The text in this box was generated from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the CC-BY-SA.

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Title: 4' New Hand Carved Marble/Wood Statue Of St. Gerard Majella
Item Number: KRNM-A350
Description:
KRMUS-350: Hand carved statue of St. Gerard Majella with high relief details. Shown with an extra rich finish, can also be painted or polychromed to your specification. A...
Title: New Statue of St. Gerard Majella
Item Number: KRDEM-516
Description:
KRDEM-516: New St. Gerard Majella statue. Available in wood, marble or bronze finish. Available in sizes 3 feet in height or larger. ...
Title: New Hand Carved Marble or Wood Statue of St. Gerard Majella
Item Number: KRNM-560
Description:
KRNM-560: New Hand Carved Marble or Wood Statue of St. Gerard Majella. Finishes and colors to your specifications. Dimensions: 4, 5, 6, 8, or 10 feet in height. King Rich...
Title: St. Gerard Statue
Item Number: KRDOM-362
Description:
KRDOM-362: St. Gerard Statue It’s available in bronze or resin. Resin is available in faux marble, bronze, silver (color added to composite-suitable for exterior displ...