Mother's Day 2013
May is one of my favorite months of the year for two reasons.
First, May is the month we celebrate our Blessed Mother in a special way. We Redemptorists have a special devotion to the Mother of our Lord. The distinctive rosary we drape on the cincture of our habit, designed by our founder St. Alphonsus Liguori, is 96 inches long and includes 15 decades. St. Alphonsus strongly encouraged his fellow Redemptorists and other Catholics to pray the rosary daily and to foster their love for Mary. For him, Mary was a constant helper and guide in all matters.
Second, May is the month we celebrate all mothers. St. Gerard’s special compassion for mothers is recognized throughout the world. Millions of children have been named after Gerard by parents who are convinced that his intercession helped them conceive and give birth to new life.
In this issue of The League of St. Gerard enewsletter, we give thanks for Mary and for all mothers. We explain the Catholic tradition of asking saints, such as Our Blessed Mother and Saint Gerard, to intercede for us. We present some of the moving testimonials posted on our Facebook page by women and men who have been encouraged or helped by Saint Gerard’s intercession.
Our online community in honor of Saint Gerard Majella, The Mothers’ Saint, is in the middle of an amazing "growth spurt." We have welcomed more than 1,500 new friends to our Facebook community since we published our Lenten newsletter, and we continue to be touched by your comments, prayers and testimonials. Thank you for helping to spread the word about The Mothers' Saint!
St. Gerard, Pray for us!
Father Allan Weinert,
♦Testimonials and Prayer Requests
Prayer of Gratitude
for my Mother
Dear Lord, today I turn to you
to give you thanks for my mother.
With your own gift of life,
she bore me in her womb and gave me life.
She tenderly, patiently cared for me
and taught me to walk and talk.
She read to me and made me laugh.
No one delighted in my successes more;
no one could comfort me better in my failures.
I am so grateful for how she mothered me,
mentored me, and even disciplined me.
Please bless her, Lord, and comfort her.
Help her loving heart to continue to love
and give of herself to others.
Strengthen her when she is down
and give her hope when she is discouraged.
Most of all, Lord, on this Mother's Day,
give my mother the graces she most needs today.
I ask you this, in the name of Jesus,
our Lord and Savior forever and ever.
Credit to Creighton University Online Ministries
Visit our Helpful Resources page to see this link and other helpful resources.
Click here to
download this poem
as a special card to give your mother
Do you ever feel, in times of need or struggle, that you need all the help you can get?
Catholics all over the world ask for heavenly help in times of need by asking Mary and the saints to intercede for them. Some people ask, “Isn’t that idolatry? Shouldn’t we be praying directly to God?”
Of course we should all pray directly to God! But just as we ask our best friends on earth to help or advise us in times of need, so may we ask our special friends in heaven to help us and pray for us in times of need. When we ask a friend to pray for us or help us, we are not worshipping that friend: we are honoring them by our trust in their goodness, compassion and willingness to assist us.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “The witnesses who have preceded us into the kingdom, especially those whom the Church recognizes as saints, share in the living tradition of prayer by the example of their lives, the transmission of their writings, and their prayer today….When they entered into the joy of their Master, they were "put in charge of many things." Their intercession is their most exalted service to God's plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world.” (CCC, 2683)
For example, in the “Prayer for Motherhood” directed to St. Gerard, we pray,
O good Saint Gerard,
powerful intercessor before God
and wonder-worker of our day,
I call upon you and seek your aid.
On earth you always fulfilled God’s will;
help me to do God’s holy will today.
Please ask God, the Giver of Life,
to grant me the gift of motherhood,
that I may raise up children to God in this life
and heirs to the Kingdom in the world to come.
Clearly, we are asking God, not St. Gerard, to give us the gift of motherhood. But we know that St. Gerard has a special concern for women who are trying to conceive, so we ask for his intercession. As one Redemptorist cheerfully said, we Christians are “all in this together!”
May we pray for you?
Send us your prayer requests in times of hope, times of joy, or times of sorrow. Read Saint Gerard's story and learn why he has special care for mothers.
Testimonials and Prayer Requests
I said the “Prayer for Motherhood” every day along with a prayer to St. Gianna....and guess what? I was blessed with twins! Stephen James Gerard and Gianna Maria Therese! Thank you, St. Gerard and St. Gianna!
His intercession is the reason I have my two little guys. I suggest that everyone visit St. Gerard’s shrine at St. Lucy’s Church in Newark, NJ, especially those trying to conceive or adopt. It's considered the “Lourdes” for people trying to start families.
St. Gerard Majella, patron of expecting mothers, I pray that you will watch over my wife and baby these next 7 months. Protect them, keep them safe and in good health, and protect them from all evil. Bless our family so that we may bring up our child in the most righteous way, pleasing to God our Father. Amen.
Saint Gerard, we ask
you to intercede for our friends, and we thank you for favors already granted.
Loving God, hear our prayer!
This month, in our reverence for mothers, we pray to St. Gerard for all women who are trying to conceive or who are expecting a child. We also remember mothers who are in sorrowful or special circumstances, such as mothers who have miscarried a child, mothers of the incarcerated, mothers of children with special needs, and single mothers. You can find prayers for all of these needs in our Novena and Prayers to St. Gerard Majella booklet.