St. Gerard, Bishop and Martyr

St. Gerard, pray for us

St. Gerard, pray for us

ST. GERARD, sometimes surnamed Sagredo, the apostle of a large district in Hungary, was a Venetian, born about the beginning of the eleventh century. At an early age he consecrated himself to the service of God in the Benedictine monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore at Venice, but after some time left it to undertake a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. While passing through Hungary he became known to the king, St Stephen, who made him tutor to his son, Bl. Emeric, and Gerard began as well to preach with success. When St. Stephen established the episcopal see of Csanad he appointed Gerard to be its first bishop. The greater part of the people were heathen, and those that bore the name of Christian were ignorant, brutish and savage, but St. Gerard laboured among them with much fruit. He always so far as possible joined to the perfection of the episcopal state that of the contemplative life, which gave him fresh vigour in the discharge of his pastoral duties. But Gerard was also a scholar, and wrote an unfinished dissertation on the Hymn of the Three Young Men (Daniel iii), as well as other works which are lost.

He died in September 24, 1046. The heroic death of St. Gerard had a profound effect, he was revered as a martyr, and his relics were enshrined in 1083 at the same time as those of St Stephen and his pupil Bl. Emeric. In 1333 the republic of Venice obtained the greater part of his relics from the king of Hungary, and with great solemnity translated them to the church of our Lady of Murano, wherein St Gerard is venerated as the protomartyr of Venice, the place of his birth.

Reflection

A good hour of adoration before the most Blessed Sacrament brings about greater good for all than visiting all the marble churches, than venerating all the tombs (of the saints). – St. Peter Julian Eymard

Prayer

All-powerful and ever-living God, you ennoble your Church with the heroic witness of all who give their lives for Christ. Grant that the victory of Saint Gerard may bring us your constant help as it brought him eternal glory. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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