A Mary Moment Monday post
I’ve been receiving the Mary Vitamin via email for quite a while, and it’s one of the only email subscriptions I’ve kept over years. It’s also one of the only ones I actually read regularly.
Last week, there was one titled “St. Gerard,” and after I read it, I kept thinking of it. St. Gerard’s feast day was yesterday, October 16. He was special to me before my daughter was born on his feast, but now he’s special in a whole new way.
Each of my kids has been born on a Marian feast. The daughter born on October 16 had a few ties to Mary: she was born during the month of the rosary and the feasts of both Margaret Mary Alacoque and the Purity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
At least, that’s what I thought her birthday ties to Mary were. And then I read this in the Mary Vitamin:
“‘Before and after every meal,’ [St.Gerard] wrote in his resolutions, ‘I will recite three Ave Marias; when taking a drink of water, one Ave Maria; every time the clock strikes, one Ave Maria.'”Father Edward Saint-Omer, C.SS.,R.St. Gerard Majella (Tan Books:1999), 66.
“The Redemptorists are bound by rule to recite five decades of the Rosary, to make a visit to the Blessed Virgin and to say a certain number of Ave Marias every day. They fast, also, on the eves of Mary’s feasts and abstain from meat every Saturday in the year [Saturday being Mary’s special day of the week]. Gerard was not satisfied with these marks of filial love. Still more, he recited a Gloria Patri every time he saw an image of the blessed Virgin, whenever he heard her name pronounced and at the beginning and end of every action. His devotion to the Immaculate Conception was incomparable. How often he was rapt in ecstasy before her image!”Father Edward Saint-Omer, C.SS.,R.,St. Gerard Majella (Tan Books:1999), 66-7.
I couldn’t help but think, after reading this, of the way this daughter often asks to hold a rosary when she’s in bed. It comforts her. She has a nest of blankies and, now, an assortment of rosaries. When I wash her sheets, I find them, and I tuck them away for when she will ask for them before bedtime.
It is no accident that she’s linked to St. Gerard (not that I ever thought it was), and now that I have read more about his devotion to Mary, I will ask him to guide me in mine and as I expose my children to Mary (especially this daughter with the special link to him).
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