Tuesday, May 6, 2008

St. Gerard - Always in Church

No matter what was ado about the cathedral, Gerard was there. He attended all the Sunday Masses, the May devotions, the tridua. In fact, he often spent the whole night locked up in church. One of his relatives happened to be sacristan. The rest was easy.

One evening while deep in prayer, Gerard heard a voice . . . “Pazzarello . . . My little fool, what are you doing?” looking up at the altar, he answered. “Ah, but you are more a fool than I, a prisoner for me in your tabernacle.” *could you imagine!!! When the bells rang for Mass the next morning, Gerard was still in church.

He was there the afternoon of Low Sunday, April 13, 1749, for the start of the parish retreat. A newly founded congregation of missionaries were to preach in all three churches of Muro. Their founder had been a well-known lawyer at Naples, Alphonsus de Liguori. Wherever these missionaries went, they moved all hearts with their fervent words. It was the same in Muro.

One of the missionaries, Father Paul Cafaro, made a deep impression on Gerard Majella. “I must join these men as a lay brother,” he decided. Each day the resolution grew more insistent in his heart. He even gave away all his worldly goods – one extra shirt and a pair of linen breeches! Finally, he went to see Father Cafaro.

*remark mine

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