Gerald was born in Northumbria, England, and became a monk at Lindisfarne. When Celtic liturgical practices were forbidden there, he left England and entered a monastery on the island of Inishbofin off the coast of Mayo, Ireland. When the English and Irish monks there quarreled, he built a monastery for the English monks on the mainland. He succeeded St. Colman as abbot.
In the latter half of the 11th century, Bernard, the Archbishop of Toledo, was delegated by the Pope to bring about an ecclesiastical reform in Spain. He called in various French clerics and monks, among whom was St. Gerald, Abbott of Moissac, who was appointed choir director of the Cathedral of Toledo.
So well did this saintly man fulfill his duties and so much did he influence the people for good, that when the See of Braga became vacant, Gerald was selected by the clergy and people of that city to be their bishop. Gerald visited his diocese eradicating the abuses that had cropped up, especially that of the administering of ecclesiastical investiture by laymen.
Although St. Gerald was a comparatively young man, he proved a wise ruler and governed Mayo until 697, when, it is said, he resigned in favor of St. Adamnan. Some authors hold that St. Adamnan celebrated the Roman Easter at Mayo, in 703, and then went to Skreen, in Hy Fiachrach, and that after his departure the monks prevailed on St. Gerald to resume the abbacy. The Saxon saint continued to govern the Abbey and Diocese of Mayo till his death.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for St. Gerald and his example, not only to those of his own day but to us in this present time. We ask that St. Gerald, along with all our brethren in heaven and the angelic hosts, watch over us and pray for us that we may live according to Your will. Amen.
Other Saints We Remember Today
St. Sabbas (532), Abbot