Gerard, John

Gerard, John
Gerard, John
Jesuit; born 4 October, 1564; died 27 July, 1637

Catholic Encyclopedia. . 2006.

Gerard, John
    John Gerard
     Catholic_Encyclopedia John Gerard
    Jesuit; born 4 October, 1564; died 27 July, 1637. He is well known through his autobiography, a fascinating record of dangers and adventures, of captures and escapes, of trials and consolations. The narrative is all the more valuable because it sets before us the kind of life led by priests, wherever the peculiar features of the English persecution occurred. John was the second son of Sir Thomas Gerard of Bryn, for a time a valiant confessor of the Faith, who, however, in 1589, tarnished his honour by giving evidence against the Ven. Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel (q.v.). Different opinions are held (by Morris and Gillow) as to the permanence of his inconsistancy. John left his father's house at New Bryn at the age of thirteen, and went first to Douai seminary; matriculated at Oxford (1579), and thence proceeded to the Jesuits' College at Paris (1581). Having come to England for his health's sake, he was arrested on 5 March, 1584, and suffered two years' imprisonment in the Marshal-sea. He was bailed out in 1586, and, with the consent of his sureties, once more made his way to the Continent, and was received at the English College, Rome, 5 August, 1586. At first he paid for himself, but in April, 1587, he became a scholar to the pope. Next year, 15 August, 1588, he entered the Jesuit novitiate; but so great was the dearth of missionaries in England that he was dispatched thither in the ensuing September.
    His romantic adventures began on landing, for he was set ashore alone on the Norfolk coast at a moment when the country was in a turmoil of excitement after the defeat of the Armada, and when feeling against Catholics ran so high that fifteen priests had been butchered in two days in London, and twelve others sent to the provinces for the same purpose, though half of these eventually escaped death. Gerard, being an accomplished sportsman and rider, succeeded in making his way about the country, now as a horseman who had lost his way in the chase, now as a huntsman whose hawk had strayed. Before long he had won the steadfast friendship of many Catholic families, with whose aid he was able to make frequent conversions, to give retreats and preach, and to send over many nuns and youths to the convents, seminaries, and religious houses on the Continent. Dr. Jessopp, a Protestant (Protestantism) writes:
    The extent of Gerard's influence was nothing less than marvellous. Country gentlemen meet him in the street and forthwith invite him to their houses; highborn ladies put themselves under his direction almost as unreservedly in temporal as in spiritual things. Scholars and courtiers run serious risks to hold interviews with him, the number of his converts of all ranks is legion; the very gaolers and turnkeys obey him; and in a state of society when treachery and venality were pervading all classes, he finds servants and agents who are ready to live and die for him. A man of gentle blood and gentle breeding - of commanding stature, greate vigour of constitution, a master of three or four languages, with a rare gift of speech and an innate grace and courtliness of manner - he was fitted to shine in any society and to lead it. From boyhood he had been a keen sportsman, at home in the saddle, and a great proficient in all country sport. His powers of endurance of fatigue and pain were almost superhuman; he could remain in hiding days and nights in a hole in which he could not stand upright, and never sleep, and hardly change his position: he could joke on the gyves that were ulcerating his legs. He seems never to have forgotten a face or a name or an incident. Writing his autobiography twenty years after the circumstances he records, there is scarcely an event or a name which recent research has not proved to be absolutely correct. As a literary effort merely, the Life is marvellous. ("Academy", 9 July, 1881.)
    In those times of danger, no prudence could always effectually ensure a priest against capture. Gerard was taken prisoner, July, 1594, through a servant, whose secret treachery was not suspected. He passed two years in smaller prisons, and was then sent to the Tower, where he was cruelly tortured, being hung up by his hands, of which torment he has left a very vivid description. His courage and firmness, however, were such, that his examiners lost hope of extracting secrets from him, and he was relegated to the Salt Tower, where he cleverly contrived to say Mass. In 1597, he managed to escape by means of a string thrown one night by a friend from Tower Wharf into the Cradle Tower. By this string a rope was drawn across the moat, and with its assistance he managed eventually to get across, but with great difficulty, as his hands were still helpless from the torture.
    Until the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot (q.v.), at the end of 1605, he continued his adventurous life as a missioner in England, but he was then obliged to slip away disguised as a footman in the train of the Spanish Ambassador. The rest of his life was spent in the English colleges on the Continent. He wrote, in 1607, "A Narrative of the Gunpowder Plot", and afterwards his autobiography, "Narratio P. Joannis Gerardi de Rebus a se in Anglia gestis". He strongly befriended Mary Ward (q.v.) in her attempt to found an active religious order for women, and passed the last ten years of his life as spiritual director of the English College at Rome.
    J. H. POLLEN
    Transcribed by Gerard Loiselle

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.

Catholic encyclopedia.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать реферат

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gerard John Schaefer — Infobox Serial Killer name=Gerard John Schaefer caption=Ex Deputy Sheriff Gerard Schaefer birthname= alias= birth=March 25, 1946 location=Wisconsin death=December 3, 1995 cause=Stabbed to death by fellow inmate Vincent Rivera victims=2 30 country …   Wikipedia

  • Gerard, John — ▪ English herbalist and author born 1545, Nantwich, Cheshire, Eng. died February 1612, London  English herbalist, author of The Herball, or generall historie of plantes (1597).       In 1562 Gerard went to London to become an apprentice to a… …   Universalium

  • Sir Gérard John Leo Regis Baron d'Erlanger — Sir Gérard d’Erlanger (vollständiger Name: Gérard John Leo Regis Baron d’Erlanger; * 1. Juni 1905; † 15. Dezember 1962) war ein Manager. Biografie Gérard d’Erlanger war der jüngere Sohn von Emile Beaumont Baron d’Erlanger (1866 1939) und Rose… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Gerard — Nacimiento 1545 Nantwich Fallecimiento fe …   Wikipedia Español

  • John Gerard —     John Gerard     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► John Gerard     Jesuit; born 4 October, 1564; died 27 July, 1637. He is well known through his autobiography, a fascinating record of dangers and adventures, of captures and escapes, of trials and… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • John Gerarde — John Gerard John Gerard John Gerard ou Gerarde, né en 1545 à Nantwich et mort en 1611 ou 1612 à Londres, est un botaniste anglais, célèbre pour son herbier. Après des études de médecine à Willaston près d …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gérard — oder Gerard ist ein französischer Vorname, der dem deutschen Gerhard entspricht. Er ist ebenso als Familienname gebräuchlich. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Bekannte Namensträger 1.1 Vorname 1.2 Familienname 2 Siehe auch // …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gerard Schaefer — Gerard John Schaefer Information Nom de naissance : Gerard John Schaefer Naissance : 25 mars 1946 Atlanta …   Wikipédia en Français

  • John Wain — John Barrington Wain, né le 14 mars 1925 à Stoke on Trent et mort le 24 mai 1994, est un poète, un romancier et un critique britannique dont les premières œuvres lui ont valu d être rattaché au mouvement des Angry Young Men… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gerard Bowen Jr. — Gerard J. Bowen Jr. is an Independent candidate in the 2008 congressional elections for the 4th Congressional District of Louisiana.As an Independent he will be on the General Election ballot. The general election will be on November 4, 2008 if… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”