Saint of the Day – 5 December – Saint Gerald of Braga (Died 1109)Archbishop of Braga, Portugal, Abbot, Reformer. He renewed divine worship and restored Churches. Born in Cahors, Gascony, France and died on 5 December 1109 at Bornos, Portugal of natural causes. Patronage – of Braga, Portugal. Also known as – Geraldo, Gérald de Moissac.
The Vita Sancti Geraldi was written by one Bernard, a companion and fellow Cluniac Monk from France but we have no information from it.
In the latter half of the 11th Century, the Archbishop of Toledo named Bernard, was delegated by the Pope to bring about an Ecclesiastical reform in Spain. He called in various French Clerics and Monks, among whom was St Gerald, Abbot of Moissac, who was appointed choir director for the Cathedral of Toledo.
So well did this saintly man fulfill his duties and so much did he influence the faithfulf that, when the See of Braga became vacant, Gerald was selected by the clergy and people of that City, to be their Bishop.
Gerald visited his entire Diocese, eradicating the abuse that had become rife there, especially that of the administering of Ecclesiastical investiture by laymen. It is known that St Gerald baptised the future King Afonso I (c 1106-1185) of Portugal, see image below.
This man of God was called to his heavenly reward on 5 December 1108, at Bornos, Portugal.