Wedding Handkerchiefs, Handkerchiefs, Hankies, Hanky, Stylish Handkerchiefs

The Handkerchief Story of Saint Gerard

I always love a good handkerchief story but this one especially struck me as Jeff and I are expecting our first child very soon. The famous handkerchief story goes like this:

While Gerard Majella, now the patron saintĀ of mothers and children, was leaving the house of a family he had gone to visit, he dropped his handkerchief. A young woman retrieved it, but as she handed it to him, Gerard told her mysteriously, “Keep it. One day it will be of service to you.”

Although puzzled, the woman did keep it. And a few years later, she faced life threatening complications as she was about to give birth to her first child. She remembered the mysterious hanky and the promise, and asked that it be brought to her in her travail. She held it to her womb and immediately the pain ceased and she delivered a normal, healthy child.

The miraculous handkerchief was passed from mother to mother as they were about to give birth in the town of Olive to Citra. The first mother passed the precious relic on to her niece and on it went through the generations.

Some families took small pieces of it and only a small shred remained when Gerard was canonized on Dec. 11, 1904. It was enough, though, to pass its special graces on to other cloths touched to it.

No, Happy Hankies have not touchedĀ Saint Gerard’s scraps of cloth but I wanted to share the story and hope you found it as interesting as I did.

I found the story on and story was taken from the January 1997 issue of Our Sunday Visitor.

Handkerchiefs & Saint Gerard


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