Some Awesome People

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

St. Gertrude


Feastday: November 14

GERTRUDE was born in the year 1256 at Eisleben in Germany, of a noble Saxon family, and placed at the age of five for education in the Benedictine abbey of Helfta in Saxony. Her strong mind was carefully cultivated, and she wrote Latin with unusual elegance and force; above all, she was perfect in humility and mortification, in obedience, and in all monastic observance. Her life was crowded with wonders. She has in obedience recorded some of her visions, in which she traces in words of indescribable beauty the intimate converse of her soul with Jesus and Mary.  Gertrude had her first vision of Christ at the age of twenty-six.  Her mystical experiences are recorded in her Book of Extraordinary Graces.  She joined St. Mechtilde in writing prayers to spread devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She was gentle to all, most gentle to sinners; filled with devotion to the Saints of God, to the souls in purgatory, and above all to the Passion of our Lord and to His sacred Heart. She ruled her abbey with perfect wisdom and love for forty years. St. Teresa of Avila sought her intercessory prayer often. Her life was one of great and almost continual suffering, and her longing to be with Jesus was not granted till A.D. 1302.

"Lord, you have granted me your secret friendship by opening the sacred ark of your divinity, your deified heart, to me in so many ways as to be the source of all my happiness; sometimes imparting it freely, sometimes as a special mark of our mutual friendship. You have so often melted my soul with your loving caresses that, if I did not know the abyss of your overflowing condescensions, I should be amazed were I told that even your Blessed Mother had been chosen to receive such extraordinary marks of tenderness and affection"

(Adapted from The Life and Revelations of Saint Gertrude).

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