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Gerard of Villamagna

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Blessed Gerard of Villamagna, also known as Gerard of Monza, was a Franciscan tertiary. He is sometimes referred to as Gerald rather than Gerard, and given the title of saint, although not canonised.

Biography

Gerard was born in 1174 in Tuscany, Italy. He was first esquire, then a knight but was taken prisoner whilst on crusade.

After he had been ransomed, he returned to Italy where he became a Franciscan tertiary and lived the rest of his life as a Benedictine hermit noted for his piety.

He died in 1242 of natural causes

Veneration

He was beatified in 1833 (cultus confirmed). His feast is on 13 May

He is a patron saint of bodily ills and the sick.

Iconography

He is usually shown as an old Franciscan tertiary, either: distributing bread from a mule; holding cherry blossoms; praying near a tree; with a bowl and spoon at his feet; with a staff and rosary or with a missioner's cross; or with Saint Philip Ciardella.

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