Saint of the Day – 4 November – Saint Emeric of Hungary (c 1007-1031)

Saint of the Day – 4 November – Saint Emeric of Hungary (c 1007-1031) Confessor, Prince and Heir to the Hungarian Throne, Son of St Stephen, the first King of Hungary, Married but lived in continence with his wife, having vowed his virginity to God. Born in c 1007 in Veszprém, Hungary and died by being killed by a boar while hunting on 2 September 1031 in Hungary, aged 24. Patronages – Youth, Hungarian Americans. Also known as – Emerick, Emmerich, Emmericus, Henricus, Henry. Additional Memorial – 5 November the date of his Canonisation.

Emeric is believed to have been the second son of Saint Stephen I. Named after his maternal Uncle St Henry II, the Holy Roman Emperor, he was the only one of Stephen’s sons who reached adulthood.

Emeric was educated in a strict and ascetic spirit by the Benedictine Monk from Venice, St Gerard Sagredo (980-1046), from the age of 15 to 23. He was intended to be the next Monarch of Hungary and his father wrote his Admonitions to prepare him for this task – here:

St Stephen here: and St Gerard here:

Emeric married a Byzantine Princess but according to a biography written between 1109 and 1116, he lived during marriage in perfect chastity, collaborating with his father King Stephen in the conversion of his subjects.

The succession plans of Emeric’s father could never be fulfilled, for on 2 September 1031, at age 24, Emeric was killed by a boar while hunting. It is believed that this happened in Hegyközszentimre (presently Sântimreu, Romania). He was buried in the Székesfehérvár Basilica. Several wondrous healings and conversions happened at his grave. On 5 November 1083 King Ladislaus I translated Emeric’s relics in a large ceremony. Emeric was Canonised for his pious life and purity, along with his father and Bishop Gerard by Pope Gregory VII.

On the 900th Anniversary of the death of Prince Emeric, a National Memorial Year was organised in 1930–1931 and the village of Pestszentimre was named after him. The Church in the district also bears the name of the Saint-Prince and the first public Statue of the district depicts Saint Emeric. The Saint Emeric Memorial Year proclaimed for 1930–1931 moved the whole country and the settlements around Pest, which are now parts of Budapest. The two-year event series was such an important event that Pestszentimre, which belongs to the 18th District today, took the name of our first King’s, St. Stephen’s, son. The settlement had previously been called Soroksárpéteri.

St Emeric’s Church in the Town named for him
St Emeric in Pestszentimre

Saint of the Day – 16 October – St Gerard Majella C.Ss.R. (1726-1755)

Saint of the Day – 16 October – St Gerard Majella C.Ss.R. (1726-1755) Religious Lay Brother of the Congregation of the Redeemer, better known as the Redemptorists, Apostle of the Holy Eucharist, Apostle of Charity, known as a Thaumaturge, a Saint who works miracles not just occasionally but as a matter of course.    Born on 23 April 1725 at Muro, Italy as Gerardo Maiella and died on 16 October 1755 at Caposele, Provincia di Avellino, Campania, Italy of tuberculosis, aged just 29.   Patronages – children (and unborn children in particular); childbirth; mothers (and expectant mothers in particular); motherhood; falsely accused people; good confessions; lay brothers; tennis ball football, head boys and Muro Lucano, Italy.St._Gerard_Majella__lg info

St Gerard was born in Muro Lucano, Basilicata, the youngest of five children.   He wanted very much to receive Holy Communion at the age of seven and went to the Communion railing one day with the others but the priest, seeing his age, passed him up; and he went back to his place in tears.   The following night, Saint Michael the Archangel brought him the Communion he so much desired.   His tailor father died when Gerard was twelve, leaving the family in poverty.   His mother then sent him to her brother so that he could teach Gerard to sew and follow in his father’s footsteps.   However, the foreman was abusive.   The boy kept silent but his uncle soon found out and the man who taught him resigned from the job.   After four years of apprenticeship, he took a job as a servant to work for the local Bishop of Lacedonia.   Upon the bishop’s death, Gerard returned to his trade, working first as a journeyman and then on his own account.   He divided his earnings between his mother and the poor and in offerings for the souls in Purgatory.

He tried to join the Capuchin Order but his health prevented it.   He had acquired a reputation of sanctity and finally, when he was 23 years old, he obtained the aid of some missionaries to second his request and was admitted as a Coadjutor of the newly founded Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, known as Redemptorists, in 1749.  The order was founded in 1732 by Saint Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787 Doctor of the Church) at Scala, near Naples.   The essentially missionary order is dedicated to “preaching the word of God to the poor.”   Its apostolate is principally in giving of missions and gerard

During his life, he was very close to the peasants and other outsiders who lived in the Neapolitan countryside.   In his work with the Redemptorist community, he was variously gardener, sacristan, tailor, porter, cook, carpenter and clerk of works on the new buildings at Caposele.

At 27, the good-looking Majella became the subject of a malicious rumour.   An acquaintance, Neria, accused him of having had relations with a young woman.   When confronted by St Alphonsus Liguori, the founder, on the accusations, the young lay brother remained silent.   The girl later recanted and cleared his name.

Some of Majella’s reported miracles include restoring life to a boy who had fallen from a high cliff, blessing the scanty supply of wheat belonging to a poor family and making it last until the next harvest and several times multiplying the bread that he was distributing to the poor.   One day, he walked across the water to lead a boatload of fishermen through stormy waves to the safety of the shore.   He was reputed to have had the gift of bilocation and the ability to read gerard majella

Once he conducted a group of students on a nine-day pilgrimage to Mount Gargano, where the Archangel Michael had appeared.   They had very little money for the tri, and when they arrived at the site, there was none left.   Gerard went before the Tabernacle and told Our Lord that it was His responsibility to take care of the little group.   He had been observed in the church by a religious, who invited the Saint and his companions to lodge in his residence.   When the party was ready to start home again, Gerard prayed once more, and immediately someone appeared and gave him a roll of bills.

His last will was a small note on the door of his cell:   “Here the will of God is done, as God wills and as long as God wills.”   He died at 29 of gerard unusual edit

One miracle in particular explains how Majella became known as the special patron of mothers.   A few months before his death, he visited the Pirofalo family and accidentally dropped his handkerchief.    One of the Pirofalo girls spotted the handkerchief moments after he had left the house and she ran after Gerard to return it.  “Keep it,” he said to her. “You may need it some day.”   Years later when the girl, now a married woman, was on the verge of losing her life in childbirth, she remembered the words of the saintly lay brother.   She asked for the handkerchief to be brought to her.   Almost immediately, the pain disappeared and she gave birth to a healthy child.   That was no small feat in an era when only one out of three pregnancies resulted in a live birth and word of the miracle spread quickly.

Because of the miracles that God worked through Gerard’s prayers with mothers, the mothers of Italy took Gerard to their hearts and made him their patron.   At the process of his beatification, one witness testified that he was known as “il santo dei felice parti,” “the saint of happy childbirths.”   It is a well-known patronage and many miracles still occur.    The St Gerard Majella Annual Novena takes place every year in St Josephs Church, Dundalk, Ireland.   This annual nine-day novena is the biggest festival of faith in Ireland.   St Joseph’s sponsors the St Gerard’s Family League, an International Association of Christians united in prayer for their own and other families, to preserve Christian values in their home and family life.   Since his death in 1775, countless favours and miracles have been granted and worked through his intercession. As well as the patron of a good confession, he has been invoked as a constant source of help and inspiration to parents. st gerard - family, mothers

St Gerard was Beatified in Rome on 29 January 1893, by Pope Leo XIII. He was Canonised less than twelve years later on 11 December 1904, by St Pope Pius X.beautiful - st gerard majella - maxresdefault