The Name Giver

San Giorgio Maggiore
San Giorgio Maggiore

Gerardo Sagredo
(Venice 980 – Buda 1046) was a Lombardian monk. He studied for five years in the monastery of Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore Benedictus, then began to study holy writings. He formed an interest early on to study the documents of Jeromos in the monastery of Betlehem.

 

Merchant Ship Illustration
Merchant Ship

He left his homeland on a merchant ship in the middle of February 1015, but got caught in a raging storm on the open sea, then searched refuge on the island of St. Andreas.

This is where he met Razina – the abbot of Pannonhalma, who talked him into meeting King Stephen I., who would help him sail down the Danube to Constantinople (today Istambul) from where he could easily travel further to Jerusalem.

King Stephen
King Stephen

He was introduced to Stephen in Szekesfehervar and regardless of Gerardo trying to avoid it, he left him in charge of education of his son, prince Imre, and gave him diplomatic missions. Later in 1030 Stephen made him bishop of Csanad. People came in hundreds to be baptized, brought countless gifts to the bishop who often went out to the villages to point out locations for future churches. Gerardo ensured the education of the youngs, built minster and declared law of asylum. He himself lived ascetic life but was also interested in science and astronomy.

Monument of St. Gellert
Monument of St. Gellert

The death of Stephen (15. August 1038) and the political conflicts it cause brought Gerardo out of the peaceful life in the abbey, he began to take part in politics. They say he wept for the country’s future at his already prepared grave in 1041, then refused to crown Samuel Aba and openly criticised him because of his political intentions and plans. Few months later he was attacked by mercenaries along with his companions in Buda, and died a martyr’s death while rolling down from top of the hill, today named after him, in a barrel with nails invard.

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