Newark, New Jersey: National Shrine of Saint Gerard
About Saint Gerard Majella:
Born in 1726 to a large family in Muro, Italy, he grew up in a poverty. His father passed away when he ws 12 and shortly thereafter his mother sent him away to live with his uncle and learn to become a tailor, like his father. After a few years of working as a sewing apprentice, Majella took on a job with the local Bishop of Lacedonia as a servant.
Once Majella began earning money as a journeyman at the age of 21, he split his earnings with his mother, the poor of Muro and the rest in offerings for the poor souls. he became pale and thin due to his frequent fasting.
He applied to the Capuchin monastery at Muro twice, but was turned down both times. Told his health was not well enough for such a strenuous life, he did not give up. In 1749, at the age of 23, he joined the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer and just three years later became a professed lay brother.
His intercession on behalf of mothers is one of his most notable charisms, and St. Gerard Majella is the patron of expectant mothers. His Feast day is celebrated on October 16.
About the Shrine of Saint Gerard in Newark:
The church here in Newark was built primarily by Italian immigrants from the area around Caposele, Italy, the town where Saint Gerard died. In 1977 the shrine here was given the designation as the National Shrine of Saint Gerard.
In the nine days leading up to his feast day (October 16th), many people pray a novena for a successful child birth or conception. The feast day itself is marked by street processions with his statue, special Masses, food vendors and entertainment. The shrine is open daily and is an active parish.
Traveling to the Saint Gerard Shrine in Newark:
Address: 118 7th Ave, Newark, NJ 07104
GPS coordinates: 40° 45′ 3.2112” N, 74° 10′ 35.1012” W
Tel: +1 (973) 803-4200 Fax: +1 (973) 482-6575
Click here for the official website of the National Shrine of Saint Gerard in Saint Lucy’s Church.