Gerard believed he had found his vocation as a lay Redemptorist, throwing himself into whatever task the community assigned him: sacristan, gardener, carpenter, and of course tailor, which had been the young man’s training. But that life was endangered when a woman he had helped secure a dowry left the convent and accused him of sexual impropriety with a young girl. Gerard remained silent, and as a result was denied communion and kept under surveillance by the Redemptorists. Eventually, the accuser recanted. When asked about his silence, Gerard said he thought it best to be patient and trust. He died of tuberculosis the following year. When someone makes malicious, untrue statements about us, we want to defend ourselves. That’s human nature. But it’s important to remember that unfounded allegations will never change the Lord’s love for us. There’s something to be learned from Gerard about not overly prizing the world’s perception.
— from Brotherhood of Saints: Daily Guidance and Inspiration, by Melanie Rigney