Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 5 April – Saint Gerald of Sauve-Majeure OSB (c1025-1095) Priest, Abbot

Saint of the Day – 5 April – Saint Gerald of Sauve-Majeure OSB (c1025-1095) Priest, Abbot, Reformer, Founder of the great Monastery of Sauve-Majeure, also known as Grande-Sauve.. Born at Corbie, Picardy, France and died 1095 of natural causes. Also known as – Gerald of Corbie, Gerard, Geraud. St Gerald was Canonised in 1197 by Pope Celestine III.

Stained glass of St Gerald at the Parish Church at Sauve-Majeure

Gerald was born in Corbie, Picardy and was entrusted, by his parents, to the Abbey of Corbie for his studies under the Abbot Richard where he later became a Monk and where he was appointed as the Cellarer.

Gerald suffered greatly from violent headaches and optical problems with which the doctors were unable to assist. These severed afflictions prevented him from carrying out his devotions. as he wished.

In an effort to cure this affliction, he accompanied Abbé de Corbie Foulques to Rome where they were both Ordained Priests by Pope Leo IX . From there they went onto Monte Gargano and then to Monte Cassino, seeking the intercession of St Benedict and St Michael.

After returning to Corbie and suffering a great mental crises due to the pain, Gerald was suddenly cured by the intercession of St Adelard of Corbie (c751–827) the Abbot of Corbie in the 9th Century, of whom Gerald later wrote a Hagiography. St Adelard here:

After his cure, Gerald made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in thanks giving for the miraculous cure. He stayed until 1974 when he returned to Corbie. He was then elected as the Abbot of St Vincent’s Abbey, Laon but the Monks did not accept his authority or the imposition of reforms in the form of proper discipline. After some years, Gerald resigned from Laon in order to become the Abbot of St Medard’s Abbey, Soissons but wasfaced with opposition and was driven out by an usurper.

He then sought instead to found a new Benedictine Monastery. Duke William VIII of Aquitaine gave him a huge tract of forest in the Gironde near Bordeaux, where Gerald founded the Abbey of Grande-Sauve, of which he was also the first Abbot. Here, at this Monastery, Gerald developed a powerful community steeped in the advancement of the Benedictine Rule and a disciplined mode of life, with significant influence from the customs of Cluny.

Here, Gerald initiated the practice of celebrating Mass and the Office for the Dead for 30 days after the death of a community member. His constant advice to his Monks for as long as he lived was – that they should shun all idle conversation and discussion.

Near the end of his life, he wrote the Vita and Miracles of St Adelard . He died at the Abbey of -Majeure in 1095.

A Note on St Gerald’s great work of Founding the Monastery of Sauve-Majeure:

“Sauve-Majeure Abbey is a former Benedictine Monastery near the present village of La Sauve in the department of the Gironde, in a region once heavily forested. Although now in ruins, the remains of the Abbey are still of great interest in terms of Romanesque architecture, especially because of the many sculpted capitals still surviving.

In 1998 the Abbey ruins were included as part of the UNESCO world heritage site of the pilgrimage route to St James of Compostela.

On the spot known as Hauteville, halfway between the Garonne and the Dordogne, St Gerald of Sauve-Majeure founded the Abbey of Grande-Sauve in 1079, of which he was also the first Abbot. Its name refers to the Silva Major, the great forest that then occupied the whole region known as the Vignoble de l’Entre-Deux-Mers (“vineyard between two seas”) which was a gift to St Gerald from Duke William VIII of Aquitaine.

With the support of the Duke, the Pope and a large number of generous benefactors and protectors, including the Kings of England and France, its Patrons, the Abbey prospered and grew rapidly. It is sited on the route to Santiago de Compostela and served as a local point of departure for pilgrims.

During the French Revolution the Abbey’s assets were confiscated and dispersed. The surviving buildings were used from 1793 as a prison. The Church roofcollapsed in 1809 and for the next forty years, the remains were used as a quarry for the village of La Sauve.

In 1837 the Archbishop bought up the site and had a Jesuit college built there, which was later converted into a teachers’ training college. But in 1910 the school was destroyed in a fire and the site was again abandoned. Between 1914 and 1918 the remaining buildings were used as a small military hospital.

In 1960 the site was acquired by the French government and the ruins made stable. The site is now open to the public under the management of the Centre des Monuments Historiques.”



Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, 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. This Site is placed under the Patronage of my many favourite Saints and especially, St Paul. "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 site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and I pray all those who visit here will be abundantly blessed. Pax et bonum! 🙏

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