The Saint for Mothers

Years ago a young couple was unsuccessful in having children. Unfortunately the children did not live. Time and again their hopes were dashed for a child. Surely they were at the end of hope. So they went to see their parish priest to seek intercession in their dilemma. The priest told them to make pilgrimage to the only altar he knew of which was dedicated to the saint for mothers. But it was very far away in the Basilica of Saint Anne du Beaupre, Canada. The first church of Saint Anne was built by sailors who had been caught in a treacherous storm at sea. The tough sailors promised a church built to the mother of the Blessed Mother if she saved them. The church would be built wherever they would come ashore. Having been saved from death, they gratefully built the church in the fields (“beaupre”). And so the couple set out in a borrowed car on the long journey to the shrine. In the transept of the basilica there is still today the altar of this saint dedicated to mothers. Their pilgrimage was to bear them a son who lived. They named him after the saint in gratitude for his intercession. The son eventually was to become a priest. I am that son.

It has been my experience over and over to see the workings of Saint Gerard. Many times mothers have come to me to seek the intercession of this generous and powerful saint. He never fails. On Friday, October 16 we will celebrate his feast day. Saint Gerard Majella. I own his statue—rarely in my possession—because it has been borrowed and passed from couple to expectant couple. He never fails.


Fr. Gerard Gordon