St Gerard Majella | Feast day: October 16 | Patron of expectant mothers | 1755 AD

Born at Muro, Italy, in 1726, St Gerard joined the Redemptorists as a lay brother at age 23. Displaying an extraordinary wisdom and gift for reading consciences, he was permitted to counsel communities of religious women. His patronage of expectant mothers is a result of a miracle brought about through his prayers for a woman in labour. He died at the age of twenty-nine from tuberculosis

St. Monica | Feast day: August 27 | Patron of Wives and Abuse Victims | 387 AD

Married by arrangement to a pagan official in North Africa who was violent tempered, St Monica endured years of difficulty. She had three children: Augustine, Navigius, and Perpetua. Perpetua and Navigius entered the religious life. Through her patience and prayers, her husband converted to the Catholic faith shortly before his death. St. Augustine, however, proved more difficult. After 17 years of prayers and tears, St. Augustine was baptized in 387AD. She died later that same year in the Italian town of Ostia.

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Author: Marilyn Rodrigues

As featured in the May 2011 edition of CathFamily E-Magazine.

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