Saint Gerard Majella


Saint Gerard Majella, 1726-1755

October 16

You might expect the patron Saint of mothers to be a mother herself, but Saint Gerard Majella, a Redemptorist brother who lived in Italy, is their patron! How did he become the patron of mothers?

One day, he was visiting a family and he accidentally dropped his handkerchief. When one of the daughters tried to give it back, Saint Gerard told her to keep it because she might need it some day. She probably thought that he meant she would need it if she caught a cold, but many years later, after Saint Gerard had died of tuberculosis, the girl was grown up and married. She was pregnant and the baby was in danger of dying. She remembered the handkerchief and prayed to Gerard to help her. She gave birth to a healthy baby! Many other women began to pray to Gerard for help when they were pregnant and many miracles occurred. Finally so many mothers asked him for help, he was made the patron of mothers!

Many other miracles have been attributed to Saint Gerard. One time he multiplied the bread he was giving to the poor and another time he walked on water to guide some fishermen safely to shore. To remind himself of what God wants from each of us, he kept a note on the door to his room that read: "Here the will of God is done, as God wills, and as long as God wills.” One of his friends was another Saint, Saint Alphonsus Liguori. We celebrate the feast day of Saint Gerard on October 16.

Discuss: What do you think God's will is for you? 


Saint Gerard dedicated his life to helping mothers in need.

  • Invite the young people to talk about what they can do to help mothers or families in need.
  • Have the group choose one collection drive they can donate items to for mothers or families in need.