St Gerard Majella - Biography - 11th October 2017
Why is St. Gerard Majella invoked by thousands as "The Mother's Saint"? It appears strange that a man, and a religious lay brother at that, should be so acclaimed. It might seem that a married woman, who had been blessed with the privilege of motherhood, would be chosen by Divine providence for this office.
However, the fact is that the countless favours and prodigies obtained for mothers and their children through the intercession of St. Gerard seem to suggest the role selected for him. Although the Church has not officially proclaimed him the patron of mothers, it is hoped that one day she may do so. During his life he helped mothers in need; since his death, in 1755, there has been a continuous flow of extraordinary favours granted to mothers who prayed to him; today there are millions who look to him for help in obtaining the blessing of motherhood and in the difficulties attendant on motherhood.
Gerard, the youngest of the five children of Dominic and Benedetta Galella Majella, was born on April 6, 1726, in the small town of Muro, which is a few miles distant from Naples in southern Italy. He was very sickly at birth and was immediately taken to the Cathedral church for Baptism.
Even his childhood was marked by special graces from God. When he was only five, he was accustomed togo to a small chapel near his home to pray. Often he would return home from these visits with a loaf of bread.
When asked about this, he would say that "a most beautiful boy" had given it to him. One day his sister, Elizabeth, followed him to the chapel and watched him while he knelt in prayer before a statue of the Blessed Mother holding the Child Jesus. Then she saw a strange thing happen. The Child Jesus left His Mother's arms and came down to play with the little boy. After some time the Child gave Gerard a loaf of bread and returned to His Mother's arms. This was something of a prelude to the miraculous event in which the Archangel Michael gave him his first Holy Communion.
St Gerard Majella, pray for us!