Great Medical Lives
St Gerard Majella.
Feast day: 16th October
Patron Saint of:
childbirth, expectant mothers, unborn children
St Gerard Majella was born in Italy in 1726 and became a Redemptorist lay brother in 1749. Although the Redemptorists had been initially reluctant to accept him, he soon gained a reputation among them for sanctity.
A young man may seem an unusual choice to be the patron of expectant mothers. However it was through popular acclaim that he gained this title after many miracles related to pregnancy were attributed to his intercession.
So let us recommend to St Gerard all expectant mothers in our care, in particular those who have suffered the loss of a child through miscarriage. The pain of miscarriage can often be a hidden, lifelong and misunderstood suffering. In providing healthcare for women, we may become the only other person to learn about a woman's miscarriage. From this privileged position we can listen and offer the support that she may not have received from elsewhere.
Let us pray to St Gerard for women who have suffered through miscarriage, that they may experience the healing love of God. We entrust their lost infants to the care of our heavenly Mother, who herself knew all too well the pain of losing a child.
you knit me in my mother’s womb
I praise you, because I am wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works!
My very self you know.
My bones are not hidden from you.
When I was being made in secret,
Fashioned in the depths of the earth,
Your eyes saw me unformed;
in your book all are written down;
my days were shaped, before one came to be.”