Blessed Joseph Gerard, OMI

Fr. Gerard was born in France and entered the Oblates of Mary Immaculate at twenty. He was ordained in South Africa, where he worked among the Zulu people. In 1862 he went to Lesotho, where he spent the rest of his life with the Basutho people. A flourishing local Catholic church bears witness to his life and work. He died on May 29, 1914 and was declared Blessed on September 14, 1988 by John Paul II.

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Novena of Prayer for Oblate Vocations (Originally published on

*On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of Fr. Eugene de Mazenod’s becoming a formator at Saint Sulpice, 1812-2012*

Introduction to the Novena

As we begin to prepare ourselves for the bicentennial of our Congregation in 2016, with this novena, we would like to refer on an important moment in the life of Saint Eugene prior to the founding. Exactly 200 years ago, from January until October 1812, Eugene de Mazenod served as one of the directors of the diocesan seminary of Saint Sulpice in Paris. Perhaps this is a little known time in his life. Napoleon Bonaparte ruled in France at that time and he tried to limit to the utmost the freedom of the Church. Consequently, Pope Pius VII himself and a large number of the cardinals from his Curia were taken to Paris and, for all practical purposes, became Napoleon’s prisoners.

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