Ordinary Time: October 3rd
Thursday of the Twenty-Sixth Week of Ordinary Time
Old Calendar: St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, virgin; St. Gerard of Brogne, abbot (Hist)
According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus. Her feast in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite is celebrated on October 1. Historically it is the feast of St. Gerard of Brogne who was born in the county of Namur. He trained for the army, as a page of the count of Namur he was sent on a special mission to the French court. He stayed in France and joined the Benedictines of St. Denis. After some eleven years he was ordained priest, and left for Belgium in order to found a new abbey on his own estate of Brogne. He was its abbot for twenty-two years and during that period was instrumental in introducing St. Benedict's Rule into numerous houses in Flanders, Lorraine and Champagne. He was noted for his engaging sweetness of temper.
St. Gerard of Brogne
St. Gerard 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." St. Gerard had a vision in which St. Peter asked him to bring the relics of St. Eugenius to Brogne, Belgium. Upon completing this task, St. Gerard 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 St. Gerard 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 St. Benedict. Toward the end of his life, St. Gerard 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.
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