Gerard of Villamagna, Bl.

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Hermit; b. Villamagna, near Florence, Italy, c. 1174;d. there, May 13, 1245. Orphaned at an early age, he took service as a page in a knightly Florentine family. As an attendant to his master, he went on crusade (122028), was captured by the Saracens, and, after his release, traveled as a pilgrim to Jerusalem. It is possible that he may also be identified with a lay brother of the Knights of Malta named Micaty (Mercatti). After returning to Italy he joined the Third Order of St. Francis and lived as a hermit in his native town. His cult was approved in 1833.

Feast: May 23; May 13 (Florence).

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum May 3:247. l. wadding, Scriptores Ordinis Minorum 5:19. a. butler, The Lives of the Saints 2:378379. l. boehm, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche 2 4:723.

[o. j. blum]