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Saint Gertrude The Great
http://www.mtep.com/stgertrude.htm | 00/00/00 | staff

Posted on 11/16/2002 6:35:54 PM PST by Lady In Blue


 

 

(1256-1302 A.D.) Few men have merited the title, "the Great"; fewer women. I know of only one nun so honored, St. Gertrude of Helfta, a mystic whose spiritual writings have remained influential up to the present.

Nothing is known of this German woman's family background. When five years old, she was entrusted to the sisters of Helfta Abbey to be educated. From a very young age she gave evidence of her brilliance and quickly outstripped her companions. In her teen years she asked to join the community. Therefore, she probably spent her whole life from childhood on within the abbey walls.

Her love for secular studies made the common life wearisome, pride and vanity ate away at her soul and she soon became an unhappy young woman until Christ appeared to her. The day was branded in her memory, it was in her 26th year, when as she says "in a happy hour, at the beginning of twilight, thou O God of truth, more radiant than any light, yet deeper than any secret thing, determined to dissolve the obscurity of my darkness." From then on her biographer tells us "she became a theologian instead of a grammarian." She did not give up her intellectual ardor but now, all her labors were for her sisters, to cure what she termed "the wound of ignorance". Her many gifts and mystical graces did not prevent her from giving herself wholeheartedly to the common life with its joys and sorrows. In fact many of her special graces came to her as she took part in the ordinary routine of convent life. She felt keenly for those whose burdens involved them in distracting duties, for example those responsible for meeting the debts of the monastery.

She prayed that they might have more time to pray and fewer distractions. The Lord's answered "It does not matter to me whether you perform spiritual exercises or manual labor, provided only that your will is directed to me with a right intention. If I took pleasure only in your spiritual exercises, I should certainly have reformed human nature after Adam's fall so that it would not need food, clothing or the other things that man must find or make with such effort."

Many of her writings are lost, but fortunately she left to the world an abundance of spiritual joy in her book The Herald of Divine Love, in which she tells of the visions granted her by our divine Lord. She wrote this excellent, small book because she was told that nothing was given to her for her own sake only. Her Exercises is an excellent treatise on the renewal of baptismal vows, spiritual conversion, religious vows, love, praise, gratitude to God, reparation, and preparation for death.

She began to record her supernatural and mystical experiences in what eventually became her Book of Extraordinary Grace (Revelation of Saint Gertrude), together with Mechtilde's mystical experiences Liber Specialis Gratiae, which Gertrude recorded. Most of the book was actually written by others based on Gertrude's notes. She also wrote with or for Saint Mechtilde a series of prayers that became very popular, and through her writings helped spread devotion to the Sacred Heart (though it was not so called until revealed to St. Margaret Mary Alocoque).

Gertrude is inseparably associated with the devotion to the Sacred Heart. The pierced heart of Jesus embodied for her the Divine Love, an inexhaustible fountain of redemptive life. Her visions and insights in connection with the Heart of Jesus are very enlightening. In one such intellectual vision, she perceived the unceasing love of Christ for us in two pulsations of his Heart - one accomplished the conversion of sinners, the other the sanctification of the just. Just as our own faithful heart keeps right on whether we advert to it or not, these pulsations will endure till the end of time despite the vicissitudes of history.

Our Lord wishes people to pray for the souls in purgatory. He once showed Gertrude a table of gold on which were many costly pearls. The pearls were prayers for the holy souls. At the same time the saint had a vision of souls freed from suffering and ascending in the form of bright sparks to heaven.

In one Vision, Our Lord tells Gertrude that he longs for someone to ask Him to release souls from purgatory, just as a king who imprisons a friend for justice's sake hopes that someone will beg for mercy for his friend. Jesus ends with:

"I accept with highest pleasure what is offered to Me for the poor souls, for I long inexpressibly to have near Me those for whom I paid so great a price. By the prayers of thy loving soul, I am induced to free a prisoner from purgatory as often as thou dost move thy tongue to utter a word of prayer."

In another vision she was given the Prayer which Our Lord told her would release 1000 Souls from Purgatory every time it is said with love and devotion. "Eternal Father, I offer You the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus Christ, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, those in the Universal Church, in my home, and in my family."

To her was granted the privilege of seeing our Lord's Sacred Heart. The graces flowing from it appeared like a stream of purest water flowing over the whole world. In many of the visions of the Sacred Heart, we find St John the Beloved Disciple present. He who leaned back against Jesus' chest at the Last Supper. On his own feast day, St John appeared and placed Gertrude near the wounded side of the Savior, where she could hear the pulsations of the Sacred Heart. "Why is it, O beloved of God", she asked him, "that you who rested on His bosom at the Last Supper have said nothing of what you experienced then? St John told her "It was my task to present to the first age of the Church the doctrine of the Word made flesh which no human intellect can ever fully comprehend. The eloquence of that sweet beating of His Heart is reserved for the last age in order that the world grown cold and torpid may be set on fire with the love of God."

These visions continued until the end of her life. Jesus said to her at the last: "Come, my chosen one, and I will place in you My throne."

Saint Gertrude was "the Great" because of her single-hearted love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the souls in purgatory. Though she was never formally canonized, Pope Clement XII in 1677 directed that her feast be observed throughout the Church. It is interesting to note that Saint Teresa of Avila had a great devotion to Gertrude.

 

 

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TOPICS: Catholic; History
KEYWORDS: catholiclist; gertrude; mystic; saintgertrude; stgertrude

1 posted on 11/16/2002 6:35:54 PM PST by Lady In Blue
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To: *Catholic_list; father_elijah; Salvation; nickcarraway; NYer; JMJ333; Siobhan
ping
2 posted on 11/16/2002 6:45:21 PM PST by Lady In Blue
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To: Lady In Blue
BUMP
3 posted on 11/17/2002 11:14:06 AM PST by nickcarraway
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To: Lady In Blue
. "Eternal Father, I offer You the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus Christ, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, those in the Universal Church, in my home, and in my family."

Amen.

4 posted on 11/17/2002 1:19:38 PM PST by JMJ333
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To: Lady In Blue; AKA Elena; sandyeggo; Askel5
I love St. Gertrude. I have a pewter statuette of her on my dashboard to remind me to pray for the Holy Souls. (My son Michael says I have the entire Communion of Saints on my dashboard). Well, they are our constant companions in prayer.

Eternal Father, I offer You the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus Christ, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, those in the Universal Church, in my home, and in my family. Amen.

5 posted on 11/17/2002 1:46:50 PM PST by Siobhan
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To: Lady In Blue

Saint Gertrude

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, fountain of eternal life, Your Heart is a glowing furnace of Love. You are my refuge and my sanctuary.
O my adorable and loving Savior, consume my heart with the burning fire with which Yours is aflamed. Pour down on my soul those graces which flow from Your love. Let my heart be united with Yours. Let my will be conformed to Yours in all things. May Your Will be the rule of all my desires and actions. Amen.
-- Saint Gertrude the Great

6 posted on 11/17/2002 9:03:29 PM PST by Dajjal
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To: JMJ333
Thanks for posting that prayer.I've prayed it but left out the last part of it!
7 posted on 11/18/2002 6:01:49 PM PST by Lady In Blue
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To: nickcarraway
Thanks for the bump!
8 posted on 11/18/2002 6:02:29 PM PST by Lady In Blue
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To: Siobhan
May I ask where you bought her statue? Thanks.
9 posted on 11/18/2002 6:05:21 PM PST by Lady In Blue
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To: Dajjal
Thank you for your beautiful post!
10 posted on 11/18/2002 6:08:02 PM PST by Lady In Blue
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To: Lady In Blue; All
Bump and Ping on 11-16-03!
11 posted on 11/16/2003 7:37:33 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Lady In Blue
Hi Lady In Blue,

Thanks for posting the link on here.

Everyone, with Lent weel underway, please prayerfully consider pledging your Prayers for the Holy Souls in Purgatory at http://www.MTEP.com (the Mission To Empty Purgatory)

God Bless You,
Steve
12 posted on 03/13/2004 3:42:54 PM PST by GoBoks
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To: Lady In Blue
BUMP
13 posted on 03/13/2004 3:59:27 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway
Bump Again!
14 posted on 03/16/2004 3:30:45 AM PST by GoBoks
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To: nickcarraway
Bump Once More
15 posted on 04/21/2004 3:11:46 AM PDT by GoBoks (Please pledge your Prayers for the Holy Souls in Purgatory at http://www.MTEP.com)
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To: GoBoks

Hello again everybody.

Please Pray for the Holy souls suffering in Purgatory. Please Prayerfully consider pledging your Prayers at the Mission To Empty Purgatory (MTEP) at www.MTEP.com

God Bless You!


16 posted on 06/04/2004 3:24:56 AM PDT by GoBoks (Please pledge your Prayers for the Holy Souls in Purgatory at http://www.MTEP.com)
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To: Lady In Blue

BTTT on 11-16-04, Memorial of St. Gertrude.


17 posted on 11/16/2004 7:31:50 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Lady In Blue
Today at Mass the priest emphasized that St. Gertrude the Great started praying to the Sacred Heart many years before St. Margaret Mary Alcoque (sp) made the prayer so popular.


18 posted on 11/16/2004 2:30:40 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: father_elijah; nickcarraway; SMEDLEYBUTLER; Siobhan; Lady In Blue; attagirl; goldenstategirl; ...
Saint of the Day Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Saint of the Day Ping List.

19 posted on 11/16/2004 2:34:10 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Thank you so much for the ping. I love St. Gertrude...


20 posted on 11/16/2004 2:46:19 PM PST by Judith Anne (Thank you St. Jude for favors granted.)
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To: Judith Anne

PING!


21 posted on 11/16/2004 2:47:34 PM PST by crushelits
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To: Salvation
THANKS FOR     THE PING!

22 posted on 11/16/2004 3:00:34 PM PST by Smartass (BUSH & CHENEY to 2008 Si vis pacem, para bellum - Por el dedo de Dios se escribió)
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To: Smartass

Ping again! :)


23 posted on 11/30/2004 3:19:37 AM PST by GoBoks (Please pledge your Prayers for the Holy Souls in Purgatory at http://www.MTEP.com)
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To: Lady In Blue

BTTT on the Optional Memorial of St. Getrude the Great, 11-16-05!


24 posted on 11/16/2005 7:32:02 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Lady In Blue
American Catholic’s Saint of the Day

November 16
St. Gertrude
(1256?-1302)

Gertrude, a Benedictine nun in Helfta (Saxony), was one of the great mystics of the 13th century. Together with her friend and teacher St. Mechtild, she practiced a spirituality called "nuptial mysticism," that is, she came to see herself as the bride of Christ. Her spiritual life was a deep personal union with Jesus and his Sacred Heart, leading her into the very life of the Trinity.

But this was no individualistic piety. Gertrude lived the rhythm of the liturgy, where she found Christ. In the liturgy and Scripture, she found the themes and images to enrich and express her piety. There was no clash between her personal prayer life and the liturgy.

Comment:

Gertrude's life is another reminder that the heart of the Christian life is prayer: private and liturgical, ordinary or mystical, always personal.

Quote:

"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).



25 posted on 11/16/2005 8:17:49 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Lady In Blue

BTTT on the Optional Memorial of St. Getrude the Great, 11-16-06!


26 posted on 11/16/2006 6:37:12 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Lady In Blue

I love St. Gertrude, is today her feast day?


27 posted on 11/16/2006 6:38:45 AM PST by diamond6 (Everyone who is for abortion has been born. Ronald Reagan)
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To: diamond6

BTTT on the Optional Memorial of St. Getrude the Great, November 16, 2007!


28 posted on 11/16/2007 7:39:03 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Thanks!!


29 posted on 11/16/2007 7:30:39 PM PST by diamond6 (Everyone who is for abortion has been born. Ronald Reagan)
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To: diamond6

**To her was granted the privilege of seeing our Lord’s Sacred Heart. The graces flowing from it appeared like a stream of purest water flowing over the whole world. **

I wasn’t aware of her visions of the Most Sacred Heart until today! Wow!


30 posted on 11/16/2007 9:02:55 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation

Wow! That is absolutely beautiful. I have a little book on St. Gertrude, it’s a fascinating read.


31 posted on 11/17/2007 11:02:48 AM PST by diamond6 (Everyone who is for abortion has been born. Ronald Reagan)
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