Tag Archives: March for Life

During Respect Life Week, we should never forget to remember the patron of unborn children and expectant mothers, St. Gerard Majella

Mama, mama, see what I got from the little boy.” In his hand, he held a small roll of bread. (It was from the baby Jesus)

St. Gerard Majella                                                                aleteia.org

By Larry Peterson

The Annual March for Life took place in Washington. D.C. on Friday, January 24. More than a half-million people marched in defense of the unborn. The President of the United States, Donald Trump, spoke live before the crowd, the first time in history a president has done so. However, many expectant women, unsure of their situation, did not attend.   If you were one of them, you might turn to St. Gerard Majella, the Patron Saint of Unborn Children and Expectant Mothers. Many a miracle has been attributed to this young man’s intercession.

Gerard was the youngest child born to Domenico and Benedetta Majella. They already had three daughters, and Gerard was their only son. The date was April 6, 1726. The Majellas were a hard-working Italian family and, Benedetta brought her children to Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Graces as often as she could. Gerard, only three, loved the statue of the “pretty lady with the baby.”

When Gerard got a bit older, he would run off to the shrine by himself. The first time he came home, he yelled out, “Mama, mama, see what I got from the little boy.” In his hand, he held a small roll of bread. No one paid much attention but after several days of coming home with bread, his mom decided to follow him and see what he was up to.

What she saw stunned her because the statue of Our Lady of Graces apparently came to life and the Child she was holding scampered down to play with Gerard. She quickly left and, sure enough, when Gerard came home, he had another small loaf of bread with him. Benedetta kept this to herself.

Gerard’s dad died when the boy was twelve, and the family was left in poverty. Gerard’s father had been a tailor so his mom sent him to her brother so Gerard could learn to sew and be a tailor like his father. However, after a four-year apprenticeship, Gerard was offered the job as a servant for the local Bishop of Lacedonia. Needing the money, he took the position.

The Bishop kept hearing stories about Gerard and his kindness and how he would always stop and visit the poor in the clinic, how he always helped others and would even bring the poor leftovers from the bishop’s table. The young man was gaining a reputation just by being himself.

When the Bishop passed away, Gerard returned to his trade as a tailor. He divided his earnings among his mother, the poor, and in offerings for the souls in purgatory. By the time he was 21 years old, he had established a steady business. His mom was quite worried about her son. He looked thin and frail because he was always fasting and doing penance. She begged him to eat, and he told her, “Mama, God will provide. As for me, I want to be a saint.”

Gerard tried to join the Capuchins, but they thought him to sickly to endure the demands of the order. Finally, after much pleading and nagging, he was accepted as a lay brother into the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer aka the Redemptorists.

As a lay brother, he would never be a priest, say Mass or hear confessions. He would live under the same roof and wear the same habit and share the prayers. He also would take the vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience. He would be a caretaker to the monastery. He embraced this role and served them well acting as gardener, sacristan, porter, cook, carpenter and, of course, the tailor.

But there was always the children. They flocked to Gerard to hear his amazing stories and learn how to pray. Once, when a large group was sitting around listening to him, a little boy fell off a cliff. When they reached the child, they thought he was dead. Gerard said to the boy’s father, “It is nothing.”  Then he traced a cross on the boy’s forehead, and he awoke. It was just one of Gerard’s many miracles that were witnessed by people.

Gerard had tuberculosis and died on October 16, 1755. He was 29 years old. Many miracles have been attributed to his intercession. One stands out as the reason he has come to be known as the patron of mothers. A few months before his death, he was visiting a family. He dropped his handkerchief, and one of the girls picked it up to return it to him. He told her to keep it because one day she would need it.

Years later, as a married woman, she was about to give birth, and the doctor was sure the child would not survive. She remembered the handkerchief and asked for it. When she held it to her womb, the pain disappeared and she gave birth to a healthy baby. There was no explanation.

In 1893 Pope Leo XIII beatified Gerard. And on December 11, 1904, Pope St. Pius X canonized him in Rome. He was now St. Gerard Majella.

St. Gerard;  please pray for all those pre-born children in danger of losing their lives and for all expectant moms everywhere.

Copyright©LarryPeterson 2020 (updated from 2018)

 

The Roe and Doe “Twins” The rarely discussed “Double Abortion Whammy”

public domain

By Larry Peterson

We have all heard of Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that, to date, has LEGALLY allowed for the termination of more than 60,000,000 children in utero. But many of us are not aware that on the very same day that decision was handed down, the very same court by the very same vote also handed down a decision called Doe vs. Bolton.

The Doe vs. Bolton ruling created the proverbial “double whammy” to the abortion issue. If Roe vs. Wade ever failed or was overturned, Doe vs. Bolton could immediately take its place. In fact, it would not only take its place, it legalizes abortion up to and including a full-term pregnancy. This should be a cause of significant concern to all those who respect life but rarely is this decision ever mentioned. The fact of the matter is, on January 22, 1973, the US Supreme Court had given birth to the “Roe & Doe” twins.

The ruling in the Doe vs. Bolton case is summed up here:  : (The link supplies the details:

  • The Court’s opinion in Doe vs. Bolton stated that a woman may obtain an abortion after viability, if necessary, to protect her health. The Court defined “health,” as follows:

“Whether in the words of the Georgia statute, “an abortion is necessary” is a professional judgment that the Georgia physician will be called upon to make routinely. We agree with the District Court, 319 F. Supp., at 1058, that the medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors-physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age-relevant to the well being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.”

Incredible as it is, if Roe vs. Wade was ever overturned, Doe vs. Bolton would take its place. Doe vs. Bolton allows for abortion “after viability” for almost any conceivable reason. According to Doe vs. Bolton, an abortion could be permitted at full term because the baby’s crying when born might cause too much stress for someone in the house who has a psychological problem. Far fetched? Not really. Just get a doctor to sign off on it.

Ironically, the pseudonym “Mary Doe” was used by her attorney to protect her identity. The attorney general of Georgia at  the time was  Arthur Bolton so the case became known as “Doe vs. Bolton.” The name of the plaintiff was actually Sandra Cano who, years later, claimed to be pro-life and sued because she claimed she never knew her attorney had used her as the anonymous plaintiff in the case. The case eventually returned to the Supreme Court where her claim was rejected. Sandra Cano passed away in  2014.

Five years after Roe vs.Wade and Doe vs. Bolton were approved by SCOTUS, my wife gave birth to a daughter. She was born prematurely at 24 weeks (six months). She was born alive and fully formed but just needed more time to develop. She was baptized and given the name Theresa Mary. There was never a positive reason given as to why she was premature. The closest explanation we received was, “Sometimes things happen that we do not understand.” The bottom line to that is she was a real person who lived and died.  She is buried with my parents, and her name is on a tombstone. It simply reads;  Theresa Mary Peterson. September 6, 1978—September 6,1978.

Having had the experience and burying our pre-mature child heightened the sadness and dismay, both of us felt toward abortion. The blindness, the disregard, and the callousness that is shown by so many to the most vulnerable of all the living are beyond understanding. How many future doctors, scientists, carpenters, artists, priests, firemen, police officers, letter-carriers, and so forth had never lived to see the light of day, eradicated before their very first breath was inhaled?

God help us today and tomorrow.

Copyright©Larry Peterson 2020