On May, 18th the Nuns remember Blessed Gerard Mecatti born in Villamagna, near Florence, in 1174.
He came to Palestine where he entered as a servant in the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.
After his return to Italy, he lived as a hermit in penance and prayer, in imitation of St. Francis of Assisi,
Once he fell ill, some Johannite nuns from Florence took care of him. One evening in January, when the nun asked him if he would like something, he replied with a smile: “Yes, I would like to eat cherries”. The nun initially thought that he was delirious but since Brother Gerard insisted, she was persuaded to go out. In a nearby field she saw a cherry tree full of beautiful red and very ripe fruit, fresh as in June. This is why Blessed Gerard Mecatti is often represented holding a branch loaded with red cherries.
He died around 1245. His body is in Villamagna, where his memory is celebrated every year. In the 17th century his body was still well preserved and emitted a pleasant fragrance.