ST. GERY, OR GAUGERICUS, C.
HE was a native of Yvois, in the diocess of
Triers, at present a small but strong town in the duchy of Luxemburg.
He was brought up at home in the study of sacred learning, and in the
assiduous practice of self-denial, watching, prayer, and almsdeeds.
This private education preserved him from that corruption of morals
and sentiments into which youth too often fall, whilst to fashion
themselves to the polite and refined manners of the world they are
trained up in pleasure and vanity, and frequently exposed to the most
baneful influence of bad company. St. Magneric, the successor of St.
Nicetas in the bishopric of Triers, coming to Yvois was much
delighted with the sanctity and talents of St. Gery, and ordained him
deacon; from that moment the saint redoubled his fervor in the
exercise of all good works, and applied himself with unwearied zeal
to the functions of his sacred ministry, especially to the
instruction of the faithful.
The reputation of his virtue and learning raised
him to the episcopal chair of Cambray and Arras, which sees remained
united from the death of St. Vedast to the year 1093.* This saint
continued his labors in that charge for thirty-nine years, and
entirely extirpated out of that country the remains of idolatry. Lest
through the multitude of affairs he should in any degree forget that
the sanctification of his own soul was his first and most essential
duty, and that, without attending to this in the first place, he
could hope for little fruit of his labors for the salvation of
others, and could not expect that God would make any account of them,
he was careful to season them with assiduous recollection, prayer,
and self-examination; but from time to time he betook himself to some
retired solitude there to attend to God alone, and to recommend to
him, by fervent prayer, the souls entrusted to his care. Among other
miracles recounted of him, it is related by the author of his life,
that at Yvois a leper was healed by being baptized by him; which
aptly represented the interior cleansing of the soul from sin. St.
Gery was called to eternal rest on the 11th of August, 619, and was
buried in the church which he had built in honor of St. Medard. This
being demolished by the emperor Charles V. for the building of the
citadel, the canons were removed, and took with them the relics of
our saint, to an old church of St. Vedast, which from that time has
borne the name of St. Gery. See the authentic life of this saint
written by the same judicious author who compiled the Chronicle of
Cambray, also Chatillon, Series Episc. Camerac. et Atrebat. Boschius
the Bollandist, ad 11 Aug. Buzelin.