Benedictine Bishop and Martyr (d. 1046)
+ Born at the beginning of the eleventh century, Gerard was a Benedictine monk of the monastery of San Giorgio in Venice, Italy.
+ While traveling on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, he met Saint Stephen, the king of Hungary, who invited the monk to stay in Hungary and serve as tutor for his son. The king later appointed Gerard as bishop of the newly formed diocese of Csanád.
+ As bishop, Gerard evangelized remote areas, showing special concern for the poor. His efforts were sustained by his habits of contemplation and recollection.
+ Following King Stephen’s death in 1038, there was an uprising against Christians in Hungary and, in 1046, Gerard was apprehended by a group of soldiers in Buda who brutally murdered the bishop before throwing his body into the Danube River.
+ Immediately hailed as a saint and martyr, Gerard’s remains were enshrined with those of Saint Stephen and his son, Saint Emeric, in the cathedral in Buda.
Saint Gerard Sagredo was canonized in the same ceremony as Saint Stephen and Saint Emeric. The canonizing pope, Gregory VII, is also honored as a saint.
“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.”—John 12:24
O God, who were pleased to give light to your Church by adorning blessed Gerard with the victory of martyrdom, graciously grant that, as he imitated the Lord’s Passion, so we may, by following in his footsteps, be worthy to attain eternal joys. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Martyrs—For One Martyr)
Profiles prepared by Br. Silas Henderson, S.D.S.