Blessed Joseph Gérard
Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate The “Apostle of Lesotho”
A girl from Lesotho, born in 1922, lived in Roma, the old Oblate mission founded by Fr. Gerard himself. At the beginning of 1928, the girl suffered a bacterial Infection of the skin on her head. The infections grew and affected the child’s eyes. The effect was total blindness. In those days, medical care in the mountains of Lesotho was not well developed. But, the parents managed to have the doctor come four times on horseback to see the girl. In the first week of July, 1928, the doctor had to tell the parents that the blindness would be permanent. The girl´s mother took sand from the tomb of Joseph Gerard and put the little sack on the girl’s collar. At the same time, the family began to pray a novena to the Servant of God. On the following Saturday, July 7, 1928, the parish priest, a French Oblate, came to visit the family. As a relic he laid the stole, used by the Servant of God, on the wounds of the child and prayed with the family. During the night the girl dreamed that an old priest came and laid his hands on her eyes. Only later the girl recognized the old man in photos of Fr. Gerard that were shown to her. The next day, Sunday, July 8, the blindness had disappeared. The wounds dried out in the next days and the scabs fall of. Intensive medical checks could only be made in 1940 and 1955. These examinations confirmed the duration of the scientifically inexplicable cure. The miracle was approved by the ecclesiastical authorities of the Apostolic Vicariate of Basutoland (today Lesotho) from January 2 to February 17, 1941 and confirmed in 1956. The diocesan inquiry was declared valid by the Holy See on March 2, 1962. The miracle led to the beatification of Joseph Gerard in 1988.
In 1990, a woman from Lesotho gave thanks for a favour granted to her by the intersession of Blessed Joseph Gérard. She suffered from uterine fibroids for ten years. Uterine fibroids are benign smooth muscle tumors of the uterus with painful bleedings periods. As the woman was asthmatic she could not undergo surgery. As a sick person she attended the 1988 Beatification in Maseru, and visited the tomb of Blessed Joseph Gerard. Her menstrual problem stopped. Due to a lack of medical reports, this presumed miraculous healing was never approved by ecclesiastical authorities.
Since 1992, a 45 year old married Navy mechanic from Washington in the USA suffered from serious Hypocobalaminemia. The illness involves low blood levels of vitamin B12. Symptoms are a decreased ability to think, and poor muscle function. Some of the changes may be permanent. The man was unable to work. In May, 1994, he was urged to go for further blood tests. On June 3, 1994, he came from the doctor and saw in his bedroom an old prayer card of Blessed Joseph Gerard. More by chance than design, he prayed the novena prayer. The same afternoon, the man regained strength and was able to do heavy work again. As the medical report of 1995 shows, there have been no health problems since. This presumed miraculous healing was never approved by ecclesiastical authorities.
In 1995, a woman from South Africa reported that the house of her maid was in danger of flooding. The two women prayed together, asking the intersection of Blessed Joseph Gerard. To the surprise of the maid, all the houses in the street were flooded except her house, and the family was saved.
From January to March, 1995, a young woman from Orlu in Nigeria suffered from the effects of hidden tuberculosis. She was diagnosed as positive with HIV in April, 1995. Her physical condition got worse. As the doctors could not do anything more for her and the prognosis was eventual death, she was discharged from the hospital on May 12, 1995. Her parish priest, who knew an Oblate from Nigeria working in Lesotho, introduced the novena prayer of Blessed Joseph Gerard to the family. On October 6, 1995, a specific medical check could not trace any symptom of the illness. The HIV test was negative. Due to a lack of medical reports, this presumed miraculous healing was never proven by ecclesiastical authorities.
From 2003 to 2005, a 76 year old religious sister from South Africa suffered from diabetes. Her diabetes had its effect in other illnesses and physical troubles. After praying intensively the Novena to Joseph Gerard, the illness disappeared after more than two years. Two medical checks confirmed the healing. This presumed miraculous healing was never proven by ecclesiastical authorities.