3. 1. The grave and relics of Blessed Gérard

Gérard died on September 3, 1120.

The French historian of the Order of St. John,

the Abbot of Vertôt,
mourns: "The Hospitallers lost the Blessed Gérard, the father of the poor and of the pilgrims; that virtuous man, having arrived at an exceeding old age, expired in the arms of his brethren, almost without any sickness, and fell, as we may say, like a fruit ripe for eternity."

His epitaph - as recorded by Fulcher of Chartres - reads:

Here lies


the humblest man
among the dwellers in the East;

The servant of the poor,
a welcoming friend to strangers;

He was lowly in mien,
but within him shone a noble heart.

The measure of his goodness
may be seen within these walls.

He was provident in many things,
painstaking in all he did;

He undertook many tasks
of diverse nature;

Stretching out his arms diligently
to many lands,
He gathered from everywhere
the means to feed his people.

(Quoted from H. J. A. Sire: The Knights of Malta, Reprint New Haven and London 1994)

The original tomb at Jerusalem:

Blessed Gérard's "tomb lay within the precincts of the Hospital, most likely in the church."

First transfer of his remains to Manosque/France after 1187, but before 1283:

"The body of the Blessed Gérard ... appears to have been translated  from Jerusalem sometime after 1187.

It is still an open question how the remains of Gérard Tenque come to Manosque.
Theodore Andrea Cook writes in “Old Provence”: “In 1080 a citizen of Martigues, Gérard Tenque by name, founded the Hospital of St. John at Jerusalem, which afterwards became the great order of the Knights of Malta; and the husband of Gerberge, Countess of Provence, who was called Gilbert the Good, brought back many relics from the Holy Land which were afterwards to be seen in the churches of Arles and all its district”  Could it have been Gilbert the Good, who brought Gérard Tenque’s relics to Manosque?

In 1283 Blessed Gérard's body was contained in a 'very precious silver guilt box with many precious stones' in the Hospitaller chapel in Manosque, in Provence, where it remained until the French Revolution.

Msgr. François Ducaud-Bourget: The Spiritual Heritage of The Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Vatican 1958 writes:
“it was at Manosque, without any doubt whatever, that his relics remained from 1283 -  that is, from the capture of Acre by the Mohammedans and the rallying of the Hospitallers on Cyprus - until the French Revolution destroyed them."

Transfer of Blessed Gérard's Skull to Valletta/Malta:

The skull, however, was transferred to Valletta, in Malta, in 1749 by order of Grandmaster Emmanuel Pinto.

Destruction of the relics by the French Revolution (1789-1799):

Several sources (e.g. Ducaud-Bourget) state that the relics were destroyed (at Manosque) during the French revolution. Just a humerus and a vertebra were obviously saved.

Transfer of safed relics to Martigues/France:

"Yet, a humerus and a vertebra of the holy body were saved and kept in the church of Martigues. After the "separation" and inventories, it has been possible to see these remains in a closet of that city's town hall.” (Ducaud-Bourget)

Relics of Blessed Gérard today:

The author of this page is aware of the following relics of Blessed Gérard:

  1. The remaining humerus (or part thereof) and vertebra in Martigues.

    Humerus relic of Blessed Gérard at Martigues Parish Church (Church of St. Magdalen, L'Ile suburb)

    Another reliquary in the same church (contents unknown to the author - vertebrae?)

    Vertebra-Relic of Blessed Gérard at the Eglise Saint Louis d'Anjou (Ferrières suburb)

    Other reliquary at the same church (contents unknown to the author - it looks empty though)


  1. Relics at Saint-Gérard Church in Vitrolles/France

  2. A part of the humerus from Martigues has been given to the Grand Magistry of the Order of Malta in Rome and is kept there in the Chapel.

  3. The Grand Magistry has given a part of their humerus fragment to Blessed Gérard's Church at Mandeni/South Africa on 3rd September 1996.

  4. The Grand Magistry has given another part of their humerus fragment to the chapel at the Malteser Kommende in Ehreshoven/Germany.

  5. The skull at St. Ursola's Convent in Valletta/Malta

  6. A skull fragment of Blessed Gérard is kept at the Grand Priory of England of the Order of Malta at London/U.K.

  7. Another skull fragment of Blessed Gérard is kept in Sicily/Italy
    Further information at http://www.carlomarullodicondojanni.net/Beato%20Gerardo.htm



  8. A relic of Blessed Gérard at St. Dominic's Church in Pisa/Italy


Denys Pringle: The Churches of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem: The city of Jerusalem:


Blessed Gérard
This page is part of the publication: Blessed Gérard and his "everlasting brotherhood": The Order of St. John of Jerusalem

This page was last updated on Sunday, 11 October 2015 01:51:26


Sovereign Military Order of Malta The Maltese Cross Relief Organisations of the Order of Malta The Order of Malta in Africa Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard

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