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5 July

Gérard Raymond

Gérard Raymond was born in Quebec, in Saint Malo’s parish, on August 20, 1912, the fourth of a family of eight children. His parents pass on to him their faith – the faith that makes them live -, their love of God, of others and their devotion to the Eucharist.

When he is twelve years old, he begins his classical studies at the Petit Séminaire of Quebec city. He is a brilliant and hardworking student. He is successful in school and takes part in all the activities proposed to students at that time. He wins the first prize of an interschool competition on the Canadian martyrs. His text is published with the title: “The Martyr’s smile”. He signs his work with a play on words: “J.Mitré” (j’imiterai = I will imitate), which says something about Gerard’s deepest desire to become a martyr.

Though always the first of his class, he writes in his journal: “I don’t care about successes in class. I wish to be the first in that big competition in which heaven is at stake. My God, turn me into a saint!” He takes time for prayer, recites the rosary every day and often stops in the church on his way to school to have some quiet time and on Fridays to meditate the Way of the Cross.

In December 1931 – he is only nineteen years old – he is hospitalised because he is diagnosed for tuberculosis. He will live only six months more. During his stay at the hospital, he never complains and has no regrets. He is an example of generous acceptance of God’s will. He dies on July 5, 1932, a few weeks before turning twenty.

The quality of Raymond’s soul is revealed to us by his journal that was found after his death. By reading its pages you discover his humility, his great love of God, his concern to accomplish perfectly his duties, his incredible spirit of sacrifice, his apostolic zeal and his total abandonment to God’s will. Although it was brief, Gérard’s life was a life filled at every moment with God’s love and with the desire to accomplish His will.