Bl. Joseph Gerard
Beatified: September 15, 1988 by John Paul II
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Blessed Joseph Gérard, OMI (March 12, 1831-May 29, 1914) was a French Catholic missionary who chiefly worked among the Basotho people of modern day Lesotho and the Free State province of South Africa. He was born in Bouxičres-aux-Chęnes, in the Diocese of Nancy and received his religious training from the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, whom he joined at the age of twenty. He wasn't particularly gifted academically, but was quick at learning languages, which would later help him in learning the Zulu and Sesotho languages he used for his missionary work. Gérard moved to South Africa in 1853, and never returned to his home country again.
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