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Feast of St Margaret Mary Alaquoque

A Xt3 Member asked at 11:59pm on October 15th 2017
There seems to be some confusion over the Feastday of St Margaret Mary Alaquoqe. Some calendars put the feastday down to the 16th of October and others the 17th of October. Which is the correct date?

I noted also that today is supposed to be the feastday of St Gerard Majella, but no-one seems to make much of it. When I was growing up in the 50's/60's/70's this feastday was very popular and in the schools the nuns used to relate interesting stories about this saint - nowadays, the children don't seem to be told about this saint in the Catholic schools.



Thank you.

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Hi Ethel, I'm just as puzzled as you are! In Australia and in the Roman Missal, her feast day is celebrated on October 16th, while some sites I looked up say it's on October 17th. In fact, it's what's called an 'optional memorial,' along with St Hedwig (who I'm also very fond of as I attended Mass in St Hedwig's Cathedral in what was then Communist East Berlin many years ago). Maybe it was originally on the 17th, but St Ignatius of Antioch's feast on that day might have 'bumped' her off that flight.

If St Margaret Mary was moved back to October 16th, it looks as if St Gerard Majella wasn't even let onto the plane - his feast day is also on October 16th, but he's not included in the Roman Missal any more (I don't know if he was there before). I guess the reason is because there are many new saints, so there isn't room for them all to be commemorated by the whole Church. But I'm sure he's still in the local calendar of his home diocese in the far south of Italy, and perhaps he's in the Italian national calendar of saints too.

St Gerard is patron of mothers in childbirth. This is because, when visiting a family, not long before he died at 29 in 1755, he'd dropped a handkerchief. One of the daughters ran after him with it, and he told her to keep it as she might need it one day. Years later, now married, she was in danger of death during childbirth (at a time when only a third of children survived birth). As soon as she'd asked for that handkerchief her pains went away and her child was born healthy.

An online version of another experience explains why he's also the patron of those wrongly accused: When he was 27, Majella became the subject of a malicious rumour. An acquaintance named Neria accused him of having had relations with a young woman. St Alphonsus Liguori, the founder of the Redemptorist Congregation, to which he belonged, confronted him with these accusations. The young lay brother remained silent. The girl later recanted and cleared his name.' He's a truly wonderful saint, what a pity we don't hear a lot more about him. Very best, Fr Brendan
Xt3's Ask a Priest answered at 4:11am on October 20th 2017 reply
 

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