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St. Gerard, Bishop of Toul

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Born at Cologne, 935; died at Toul, 23 April, 994. Belonging to a wealthy and noble family, he received an excellent education in the school for clerics at Cologne, and throughout his youth was a model of obedience and piety. He was eventually ordained to the priesthood, in which office his virtues were a source of edification to the city of Cologne. At the death of Gauzelin, Bishop of Toul (963), he was appointed to succeed him by the Archbishop of Cologne, was well received by the clergy and people of Toul, and bore the burdens of his episcopal office without any of its comforts. Although he avoided paying long visits to the court of the Emperor Otto II, who was desirous of keeping Gerard near him, he nevertheless obtained from the emperor the confirmation of the privilege in virtue of which Toul, although united to the empire about 925, formed an independent state of which the Emperor Henry the Fowler reserved to himself only the protectorate, abandoning to Gerard's predecessor, Gauzelin, the therefore rightly considered as the true founder of the temporal power of the bishops of Toul. He was energetic in his opposition to powerful personages who were inimical to his authority, and governed his county wisely, promulgating administrative measures, traces of which subsisted to the time of the French Revolution. He died at the age of fifty-nine, and was buried with pomp in the choir of his cathedral. Leo IX, one of his successors in the See of Toul, canonized him in 1050.

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