Blessed Gerard of Lunel
Saint of the Day for 5/6
Gerard, born into a noble family in southern France, showed an early inclination to piety—so much so that he received the habit of the Third Order of Saint Francis at the age of five. When he was 18, Gerard and his brother, Effrenaud, hid themselves in a cave on the banks of a river and began two years of living as hermits. Both brothers then decided to go on a pilgrimage, in part to discourage the many visitors to the hermitage who had heard of their reputation for holiness. Making their way to Rome on foot, they spent two years there, visiting its many famous churches and shrines.
They intended to continue to Jerusalem, but Gerard collapsed on the way. While his brother went to seek help, he left Gerard in a simple cottage near Montesanto, Italy, but Gerard expired before his brother’s return.
Many miracles are said to have taken place at Gerard’s tomb, making it a favorite place of pilgrimage. People who were afflicted with headaches or subject to epilepsy experienced special relief through his intercession. The city of Montesanto has long venerated Blessed Gerard as its principal patron. He is sometimes known as Gery, Gerius or Roger of Lunel.
Gerard didn’t have much success in reaching his goals, including his hope to visit the holy places in Jerusalem where Jesus walked. However disappointed he may have been by all these setbacks, Gerard nonetheless managed to walk in Jesus’s footsteps throughout his life.