Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 11 August – St Géry of Cambrai (c 550 – 626) Bishop

Saint of the Day – 11 August – St Géry of Cambrai (c 550 – 626) Bishop of Cambrai, Founder of Monateries, Churches and of St Géry Island off  Belgium, Géry devoted himself to the fight against paganism, Miracle-worker – born at Trier, Germany and died in 626 of natural cause in Cambrai, Belgium.   Also known as Gaugericus, Gaugerico, Gorik, Djèri, Gau.   Additional Memorials – 18 November for the exhumation of his relics and 24 September for the translation of his relics.   Patronages – prisoners, the healing of lepers and skin diseases, against diseases of cattle, consumption and deformities of the legs, Cambrai and the Archdiocese – in France, Brussels, Braine-le-Comte – in Belgium.   From his gift of delivering captives, there is attached, his power to deliver the victims of the demon and the influences of ill-intentioned people. He is also the Patron Saint of many Churches in the regions of Cambrai, Bierne, Valenciennes and Arras, as well as in Belgium.514px-ST GERY BETTER PIC Hôtel_de_ville_de_Bruxelles_-_Tympan_04

Géry was born to Roman parents, Gaudentius and Austadiola, at Eposium (present Carignan).

Tradition states that Bishop Magnerich, successor of Saint Nicetas as Bishop of Trie, was so impressed with the piety of the young man that he Ordained him as a Deacon but not before Géry had memorised the entire psalter.   Magnerich entrusted Géry with the pastoral care of the city of Cambrai.   Géry founded Churches and Abbeys, including a Monastery dedicated to St Medard, to host relics, which contributed powerfully to giving Cambrai both the appearance and functions of a city.

Around the year 580, Géry built a Chapel on the largest island in the Senne near Brussels.   Saint-Géry Island is named after him.

When the see of Cambrai-Arras fell vacant around 585, Géry was elected Bishop with the consent of Childebert II.   He was consecrated by Egidius, Bishop of Reims.   Bishop Géry devoted himself to fighting paganism, ransoming captives and visiting rural districts and villages. He paid his respects to King Chlothar II, the new lord of Cambrai after the death of Childebert.   Bishop Géry made a pilgrimage to the tomb of Saint Martin in Tours and assisted at the Council of Paris in 614.386px-ST GERY Getijdenboek_Van_Reynegom_(verluchting),_KBS-FRB_39

Géry also built a Church dedicated to Saint Martin, where he had relics of this Saint deposited.   The steeple of this church was to become, much later, the belfry of the city.   Having obtained pieces of the Holy Cross, Géry had a Church built to house them.   Finally, he had an Episcopal palace built near his Cathedral.   He transferred, between 584 and 590, the Episcopal see from Arras to Cambrai.   Géry erected a Chapel (in Saint Michel , later Saints-Michel-et-Gudule Cathedral), which soon became a Church and gave birth to the city of Brussels.

After serving as Bishop for thirty-nine years, he died on 11 August 626 and was buried in the Church of Saint Médard, which he had founded at Cambrai.   Veneration commenced immediately after his death.   His reliquary is still on display in the south transept of the Saint Géry church in Cambrai.

St Géry is credited with many miracles, the healing of a leper, of a blind man and, during his travels through his Diocese, he freed many prisoners, criminals, children taken into slavery.   It is said that he delivered his Diocese from a dragon.

When the Church of Saint Medard was demolished by the Emperor Charles V for the building of the citadel, the canons were removed and took with them, the relics of the Saint, to the old church of Saint Vedast, which from that time, has borne the name of Saint Gery.   The Church of Saint Géry is one of the oldest in Cambrai and a listed historical monument since 1919.Eglise_St-Géry_Cambraichurch st gery with statues

st gaugericus statue church of st gery france
You can see this Statue of St Géry on the front facade of the Church in his honour, above.

His feast day is mentioned in the Martyrology of Blessed Rabanus Maurus for today, 11 August.

st gaugericus gery and st aubertus
St Géry, left and St Aubertus, right

Author:

Passionate Catholic. Being Catholic is a way of life - a love affair both with God and Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, our most Blessed and Beloved Virgin Mother Mary and the Church. "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco With the Saints, we "serve the Lord with one consent and serve the Lord with one pure language, not indeed to draw them forth from their secure dwelling-places, not superstitiously to honour them, or wilfully to rely on the, ... but silently to contemplate them for edification, thereby encouraging our faith, enlivening our patience..." Blessed John Henry Newman Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. "For the saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This is a papal fidelity site. Loyal and Obedient to the Current Pope and to the Magisterium United With Him.

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