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St. Gerard

St. Gerard Majella is the patron of expectant mothers. He was born in 1726 in Muro, Italy to a family of seven. At the age of 23, he joined the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer and just three years later became a professed lay brother. Throughout his years of life, several reported miracles are tied to Majella including, restoring a boy's life after he fell from a high cliff; blessing a poor farmer's crops, ridding it of mice; blessing a poor family's supply of wheat, causing it to last until the next harvest; and he multiplied bread for the poor on several occasions. St. Gerard Majella died of Tuberculosis on October 16, 1755 at the age of 29, living in the religious life for six years.

Along with his miracles effected through prayers for woman in labor, Majella's last recorded miracle is one that many credit toward his becoming the patron of expectant mothers. Shortly before his death, Majella encountered a young girl. He had dropped his handkerchief and she set out to return it, only to be told to keep it. Majella told her she "may need it someday." Years after Majella's passing, the young girl became married and with child. She unexpectedly went into labor and was on the verge of losing her baby. She called for Majella's handkerchief to be applied to her. Almost immediately, her pain abated and she proceeded to give birth to a healthy child, something very rare during that time. Feast Day is October 16th.

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