St. Gerald was an English monk. The date of his birth is unknown, but we know that he followed St. Colman and came to Ireland in 668, 4 years after the Synod of Whitby, where he settled in Innisboffin.
There was tension between the Irish and English monks, and St. Colman founded a separate monastery for the 30 English monks who lived in Innisboffin. This was known as the Abbey of Mayo, or May of the Saxons. Gerald was made the first abbot in 670.
St. Gerald was a young man, but a wise ruler. St. Bede wrote of him: “This monastery is to this day, 731, occupied by English monks…and contains an exemplary body who gathered there from England, and live by the labour of their own hands (after the manner of the early Fathers), under a rule and canonical abbot.”
He was abbot until 697, when he resigned in favor of St. Adamnan. Some accounts hold that St. Adamnan was at Mayo until 703, and when he left, the monks asked Gerald to return. He stayed there until his death on March 13, 731.
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