Well, yesterday was 16 October. My son Stephen turned 21 & he is an example of just one baby who was saved by St. Gerard Majella, whose Feast Day was also yesterday.
Years ago, I didn't know anything about St. Gerard, but I had heard of him...that was about it.
On Sunday, 16 Oct., 1988, I went into labor with my eighth child ~ we have two more in Heaven. But with this one, things were different. My pains came & went all day. No matter what I did, they would start up, last about half an hour or so, then stop. An hour later, there they would be again! Frustrating...
My husband Michael was @ work all day, getting in some much-needed overtime hours & by the time he came home I had been in labor (off & on) for several hours.
We decided it was time to go to the hospital, which was about a half-hour's drive away. When we got there, it was starting up again, but as soon as I got to the labor room, things slowed down...then started up again, etc. This pattern kept up until about 8:00 that evening.
This was when the doctor noticed that the baby was not getting enough oxygen, most likely strangling on the umbilical cord. So they wheeled me into the delivery room & within a few minutes, Stephen Thomas was born. :)
It was a few years later that I was on my computer one afternoon & a St. Gerard's Feast Day reminder was in my email...and noticing the date, I couldn't help but remark on the coincidence of it ~ the Patron Saint of mothers in labor, newborn babies & those wishing to get pregnant had been watching over us the entire time!
Out of all of our children (not including the two who didn't make it) Stephen's birth was the ONLY one that had presented any risk, either to me or the baby ~ and to this day I feel a special gratitude to this wonderful, kind-hearted Saint who kept my son safe, even if it did take me a few more years to learn anything about him.
And now here we are, 21 years later. I have learned amazing things about St. Gerard, including the fact that he had had many visions of Our Lord as a small boy, when Jesus would come to him as the Divine Infant & the two of them would play together for hours on end...right up until Gerard's years as a Redemptorist priest, when he would sit & visit with Our Lord in the Tabernacle all night long, joking with Him about who was crazier ~ himself, Gerard, for sitting up all night with little or no sleep, or Jesus, the Creator of the entire universe Who kept Himself a Prisoner of Love in the small box on the altar of every Catholic church in the world! :)
So...there is my take on the day, the Feast of a favorite Patron to our family, the one whose intercession, no doubt, had a hand all those years ago in saving the life of a most beloved son ~ and to whom I owe my loyalty & my thanks. xo