This Sunday is MOTHER’S DAY
(Denver, April 6, 2016) – This Sunday is MOTHER’S DAY – the day we traditionally remember all mothers and the gift of motherhood, a very special vocation and mission. Every year, we remember and celebrate all of the extraordinary women who have received this gift of generating life and caring for it: nurturing, comforting, consoling, challenging, protecting and educating.
As Redemptorists, we automatically think of our special patron saint, our very own Brother-Saint, Gerard Majella. He has been divinely appointed as a special guide, protector and intercessor for women like Melanie, an expectant mother; Lucy, who is finding it difficult to conceive; Jennifer, who is experiencing a difficult pregnancy; and Alice, who is facing a complicated delivery. He is a saint for mothers of every kind, in every situation, all around the world.
Thanks to modern technology, popular devotion to St. Gerard Majella as the Mothers’ Saint continues to grow worldwide. Thousands of mothers and others from more than 45 countries have seen and LIKE his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/saintgerardmajella) and visited his website (http://www.themotherssaint.org). At last count 14,853 people, primarily mothers, have enrolled in the League of St. Gerard – 1,210 since the headquarters of the League was transferred from Liguori Publications to the Denver Province office in October, 2014. Subscribers to the League of St. Gerard Newsletter now total almost 4,500.
The purpose of St. Gerard’s Facebook page is to provide a forum where people of faith can “gather” online to pray for those who send intentions and prayer requests seeking the intercession of St. Gerard, and asking for the intercessory prayers of St. Gerard’s Prayer Angel Friends. Many people LIKE posts as a sign that they are praying for that intention, others COMMENT with an “Amen,” a short prayer, or some words of wisdom or encouragement, or SHARE the post. St. Gerard’s Facebook page offers hope to those who seek the grace to conceive, desire a pregnancy free of complications, and pray for the safe delivery of a healthy baby. Heartfelt testimonials of praise and thanksgiving for graces and blessings received are shared, affirming that St. Gerard Majella’s intercession is nothing short of extraordinary. Prayer is powerful – especially prayer with St. Gerard Majella. In addition to promoting devotion to St. Gerard, Facebook provides an opportunity to offer counsel and to evangelize. People from all over the world send private messages asking for prayers or offering thanksgiving for blessings or miracles received.
Hopefully, St. Gerard inspires the words of encouragement or hope, and pastoral counsel sent in reply to the hundreds of messages received every month. The Mothers’ Saint website also is designed to promote devotion to St. Gerard Majella and host a prayer community dedicated to mothers. The website offers information about St. Gerard and the League of St. Gerard, and features online enrollment capabilities.
Very inspiring testimonials are shared, and the site offers a place to light a prayer candle for a special intention, as well as a resource page for mothers. Visitors also can download a free novena and prayer booklet and view current and past issues of the League of St. Gerard Newsletter.
Although donations are not directly solicited, visitors can make contributions online. Almost daily, spontaneous donations – some quite substantial – are received. These gifts more than cover the cost of mailing the League of St. Gerard enrollment materials (certificate, St. Gerard Majella/Mother of Perpetual Help medal, Novena and Prayer booklet and prayer card) all over the world, and any other expenses related to this ministry.
We encourage Redemptorists and our friends to seriously consider helping to promote devotion to St. Gerard Majella, the Mothers’ Saint. Confreres have opportunities to mention St. Gerard while preaching missions and in parish and retreat ministries. Please join the St. Gerard’s Prayer Angel Friends and pray for all of the intentions received. A variety of materials (flyers, posters, prayer cards, etc.), are available – just contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303.565.5438. New ideas, graphics, photos and testimonials are always welcome, as well as articles for the League of St. Gerard Newsletter.
We close with a special St. Gerard blessing for mothers:
May all mothers be blessed with good husbands, and children who will return their love.
May all mothers be able to provide both milk and honey,
both sustenance for staying alive and the sweetness and joy of being alive.
May they be calm and have confidence that I am with them,
taking them by the hand and guiding them safely through life.
May all mothers have the strength, wisdom and courage to be truly life-giving people.
by Joseph Dorcey, C.Ss.R.