Saint Gerard Majella
Saint Gerard, our school saint, has his feast day on 16th October.
Gerard was born in Muro, Italy, on 23rd April 1726, the youngest of five children. He trained as a tailor for four years following in his father’s footsteps. Then he became a servant for the local Bishop. He shared the money he earned between his mother and the poor.
Gerard could not join the Capuchin Order because of ill health but he was accepted by the Redemptorists as a lay brother. In his work with the Redemptorist community he served as sacristan, gardener, porter, cook and tailor.
During his life he was called the ‘wonder worker’ because so many miraculous things happened through his intercession. There are many miracles attributed to St. Gerard including restoring life to a young boy who had fallen from a high cliff.
Because of the miracles, God worked through Gerard’s prayers with mothers. The mothers of Italy took Gerard to their hearts and made him their patron.
Gerard died in 1755 at the age of 29.
Gerard was beatified in Rome on January 29, 1893, by Pope Leo XIII. He was canonised, and became Saint Gerard Majella, less than twelve years later on December 11, 1904, by Pope Saint Pius X.
Saint Gerard followed the teachings of Jesus all his life and shared the Good News by what he said and how he lived his life. We look to Saint Gerard to be an example for us to follow.
A Prayer to Saint Gerard
Almighty and Eternal God, we thank you for the gift of Saint Gerard, and the example of his life.
Because Saint Gerard always had complete faith and trust in you, you blessed him with great powers of help and healing. Through him, you showed your loving concern for all those who suffered or were in need.
You never failed to hear his prayer on their behalf.
Today, through Saint Gerard’s powerful intercession, you continue to show your love for all those who place trust in you.
And so, Father, full of faith and confidence, and in thanksgiving for all the wonderful things you have done for us, we place ourselves before you today.
Through the intercession of Saint Gerard, hear our prayers and petitions, and if it is your holy will, grant them.
Our mosaic of Saint Gerard
Each pupil across the school is assigned to a House Saint. We place siblings in the same house. Pupils are given the opportunity to earn house points by:
- Showing reverence in Mass.
- Standing back/holding doors open for adults.
- Showing good manners (please and thank you).
- Lining up smartly and sensibly.
- Walking sensibly and quietly around corridors on the left hand side.
- Completing homework/reading diary/spellings/tables.
- Showing good behaviour in lessons and assemblies.
- Playing nicely with our friends and looking after them.
- In house competitions (sports day).
- Trying really hard with work.
As part of the rewards system within St. Gerard’s, pupils are awarded housepoints for their respective house groups. Each week the House Captains have the important responsibility to collect the totals from each class. These are collated and totals are announced during Monday’s assembly. The house that collects the most house points throughout a term are rewarded by having a ‘non-uniform day’.
Saint Maximilian Kolbe
Saint Pope John Paul II
Saint Teresa of Calcutta
Saint Bernadette was born in Lourdes, France. As a child gathering firewood, the Virgin Mary appeared to her seventeen times. Bernadette was urged to pray for sinners and to build a chapel on the site. The Virgin Mary asked Bernadette to dig into the mud and a spring developed. Many healings have been attributed to this water and it is still there today. When she got older, Bernadette became a nun and passed away at age 35.
Saint Maximilian Kolbe
Saint Maximilian Kolbe was born in Poland in 1894. He was a Franciscan Friar. He was the founder of the ‘Immaculata Movement’, which is devoted to Our Lady. While imprisoned in Auschwitz by the Nazis, ten men were chosen to die as a punishment for a prisoner escape. He offered himself in place of a young husband and father. He was the last of the ten to die after enduring two weeks of starvation, thirst and neglect.
Saint Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul was born in 1920 in Poland. He was a beloved Pope and served in this position for 26 years. As Pope, he travelled to 129 countries spreading the word of God. He was fluent in 13 different languages, was a fantastic goalkeeper and survived two assassination attempts.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta
Saint Teresa, known affectionately as ‘Mother Teresa’, was born in Macedonia in 1910. When she was 12 years old, she knew that she would commit herself to a religious vocation so when she turned 18; Agnes left home and joined the Sisters of Loreto in Ireland. In 1931, she became a nun and whilst in India on a retreat she realised what her true calling was: “I heard the call to give up all and follow Christ into the slums to serve him among the poorest of the poor.” Mother Teresa dedicated her life to her calling and continued her work with the poor for the rest of her life, leading the Missionaries of Charity until just months before her death on 5 September 1997.
All of our classes are dedicated to a particular saint, as follows:
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha - Reception
Saint Patrick - Year 1
Saint Vincent - Year 2
Saint Imelda Lambertini - Year 3
Saint Martin de Porres - Year 4
Saint Agnes Le Thi Thanh - Year 5
Saint José Luis Sánchez del Rio - Year 6
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha – Reception
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, known as The Lily of the Mohawks, is a beautiful example of courage in the face of hardships. She did not have an easy life and yet through it all, she encountered Jesus and is now remembered as a Saint.
Saint Patrick – Year 1
The patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick was born into a Christian family and was the son of a deacon. When Patrick was 16 years old he was captured by Irish pirates. They took him to Ireland where he was sold as a slave. Patrick worked as a shepherd and strengthened his relationship with God through prayer. After 6 years of captivity Patrick heard a voice that told him he would soon go home. Fleeing his master, he travelled to a port where he found a ship that would take him back home. Patrick continued to pray to God and urged his companions to put their faith in God also. Patrick returned to Ireland many years later to teach them the Good News. He challenged many of Irelands leaders and converted many people to Christianity. Saint Patrick died on 17 March 461. Patrick taught the Irish about the Holy Trinity using a three-leafed shamrock to illustrate God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
Saint Vincent – Year 2
Vincent was born in Ranquine, France, the son of a peasant farmer. He was able to study and become a priest in 1600. He was traveling by sea when Barbary pirates captured him; he survived two hard years as a slave, but escaped to Rome and later, Paris. It was there that he met Cardinal Pierre de Berulle, who influenced Vincent to devote his life to charitable works. He established organizations of men and women to provide aid to the poor and sick. He depended on the donations of the wealthy, who made it possible for him to found hospitals and an orphanage. His feast day is 27 September.
Saint Imelda Lambertini – Year 3
After opening all her birthday gifts, on her fifth birthday, Imelda asked, “I was wondering if I could have just one more present.” Unfortunately, her parents could not give her this one present that she longed for – Our Lord in Holy Communion. Blessed Imelda always yearned to receive Holy Communion. At the time, in Italy, children had to be 12 years old to receive the sacrament. When she was 11 years old, Imelda was praying in church, when a bright light shone above her, the priest realised this was a sign from God that Imelda was ready to receive the Eucharist. Moments after receiving Holy Communion, for the first time, Imelda passed away. She had received the one thing that made her life whole, she had received Jesus in her heart.
Saint Martin de Porres – Year 4
Saint Martin was born in Lima, Peru on 9th December 1579. During his life, he fed, sheltered and doctored hundreds of families. He is known as the patron saint of social justice and racial harmony. We celebrate his feast day on 3 November.
Saint Agnes Le Thi Thanh – Year 5
Saint Agnes Le Thi Thanh was born in 1781, north of Cocochine (North Vietnam). She was married at the age of 17 to another Christian and they led a quiet and devout life with 6 children. In her later life, Saint Agnes helped the native priests travel under disguise to avoid the local magistrates who were under Emperor Minh Mang’s decrees to persecute Christianity. When she was 60 years old, she was arrested during a raid for Catholic priests at nearby villages. She was savagely beaten as well as taunted with poisonous snakes. Despite her terrors and suffering, St Agnes Le Thi Thanh maintained her composure with her faith in the Holy Mother. When her youngest daughter came to visit her she said, “Do not cry, these are my red roses of courage. I am suffering in the name of Jesus, why are you crying “. When speaking to her husband for the last time she told him, “I entrust the children to you, trust in God. As for me, I will trust and follow Jesus to the end”.
Saint José Luis Sánchez del Rio – Year 6
Saint José Luis Sánchez del Rio is a Mexican saint, canonized on 16 October 2016 by Pope Francis. Although José was young and died as a martyr at age 14, he was a powerful example of youth, bravery, and faith. José loved his faith and grew up with a strong devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. We celebrate the feast day of Saint José on February 10th and pray for his intercession on behalf of all persecuted Christians, children, and the people of México.