St. Gerard of Brogne
Feast Day: October 3
Born: (around) 890 :: Died: 959
Gerard was born in Brogne in France and came from a very wealthy family, but Gerard was not proud. In fact, he was known because of his friendly and kind ways.
After a hunting trip, he and his friends returned to his estate tired and hungry. After he invited the others inside for refreshments and rest, he left.
Gerard went out and slipped into a little chapel that was on his property. He prayed for a long time. His tired body seemed rested and he forgot all about his hunger.
The idea struck Gerard that if people only realized the joy of praying, they would be so much more willing to pray. Then he thought about the monks who spend their life praising God. Imagine how lucky they are, he thought.
He prayed and asked God to help him lead a life of prayer. Soon he was able to join the monastery of Saint-Denis.
Gerard loved the life he had chosen and after studies became a priest. Eleven years later he was given permission to start a monastery on his own property at Brogne.
The monastery flourished but Gerard felt there was too much activity and excitement. He built himself a little hermitage next to the church. He lived there quietly and alone.
But he was not allowed to stay in peace for very long. His superiors asked Gerard to visit the monasteries in Flanders and Normandy. The monks needed some guidance and help in becoming more holy. This work took Gerard on many journeys for about twenty years.
All of his life Gerard lived a life filled with sacrifices. He did this because he wanted to show Jesus that he loved him. He showed that love by willingly offering little acts of self-denial.
When he knew his life on earth was nearly over, Gerard asked for permission to return to his little hut back in Brogne and died peacefully on October 3, 959.
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