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Saint Gérard of Brogne
Feast Day: October 3rd
Patronage: Saint-Gérard, Quebec and Namur, Belgium
Saint Gérard entered this world blessed with the advantages of noble birth and a naturally pleasing disposition which made him universally liked, yet he saw through the emptiness of a worldly life. Upon returning from a hunting trip one day, he retreated to a chapel, where he sighed, "How happy are they who have no other obligation but to praise the Lord night and day, and who live always in His presence."
Saint Gérard had a vision in which St. Peter asked him to bring the relics of Saint Eugenius to Brogne, Belgium. Upon completing this task, Saint Gérard entered into religious life at the monastery of Saint-Denis, where he was later elevated to the priesthood. After founding an abbey of monks on his own estate at Brogne, the Saint set up a cell for himself near the church so he could live a life of reclusion. He was not allowed to remain a recluse for long though. God soon called him to reform the abbey of St. Ghislain, where the monks would expose the relics of their founder in exchange for money. Due to his success there Saint Gérard was later given the commission to reform all the abbeys in Flanders.
For nearly twenty years, he labored for their reformation by the Rule of Saint Benedict. Toward the end of his life, Saint Gérard made one last general visit to each of the monasteries under his direction, then retired to his cell at Brogne to prepare for his death.
The saint's feast day is celebrated in the dioceses of Namur, Ghent, and Liege on October 3, for which he is listed in the Roman Martyrology.
Relics, considered authentic, are preserved at Saint-Gérard, the abbey of Maredsous, Aubange, and Ghent (in the church of Notre-Dame).