Gertrude the Great

Gertrude the Great

Infobox Saint
name=Saint Gertrude
birth_date=January 6, 1256
death_date=November 17, 1302
feast_day=November 16
venerated_in=Roman Catholic Church

birth_place=Eisleben, Thuringia
death_place=Helfta, Saxony
attributes=crown, lily, taper
patronage=West Indies; travelers; Naples (co-patron)

Gertrude the Great or Saint Gertrude ( _it. Santa Geltrude) (January 6 1256November 17 1302) was a German Benedictine and mystic writer.

She is recognized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, and is inscribed, as "Saint Gertrude", not as "Saint Gertrude the Great", in the General Roman Calendar, for celebration throughout the Latin-Rite Catholic Church on 16 November. [Like other early saints, including figures such as Saint Peter, Saint Gertude was never formally canonized.]

Gertrude was born January 6 1256, in Eisleben, Thuringia, Holy Roman Empire). Nothing is known of her parents, so she was probably an orphan. As a young girl, she joined the Benedictine monastery in Helfta, under the direction of its abbess, Gertrude of Hackeborn. (In later years the monastery was mislabeled as a Cistercian monastery.) She dedicated herself to her studies, becoming an expert in literature and philosophy. She later experienced a conversion to God and began to strive for perfection in her religious life. She had various mystical experiences, including a vision of Jesus, who invited her to rest her head on his breast to hear the beating of his heart.

She died at Helfta, near Eisleben, Saxony, 17 November, 1302.

"Prayer of Saint Gertrude"

St. Gertrude the Great showed "tender sympathy towards the souls in purgatory" and urged prayers for them. She is therefore invoked for souls in purgatory.

Perhaps for that reason, to her name has been attached a prayer that, according to a legend of uncertain origin and date, Our Lord told her would release 1000 souls from purgatory each time it was said. The prayer was extended to include living sinners as well.

Eternal Father, I offer Thee 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, for sinners in the Universal Church, for those in my own home and within my family. Amen.

Neither the prayer nor the legend about its special promises is found in the text of the " [ Revelations of Saint Gertrude the Great] ".

ee also

* Christian mystics
* St. Mechtilde
* Mary, White Lily of The Trinity and Vermilon Rose of Heaven


External links

* [ "The Life and Revelations of Saint Gertrude the Great" - the full text online.]
* [ Matrologia Latina] - Latin text of "Sanctae Gertrudis Legatus divinae pietatis" (Books 1 and 2)
* [ A biographical note on St Gertrude and an excerpt from her book, "The Herald of Divine Love", from the website of her recently refounded monastery at Helfta.]
* [ Mission To Empty Purgatory - Pledge to say St Gertrude's prayer.]
* [ St. Benedict's Abbey] - Benedictine Brothers and Fathers in America's Heartland
* [ The Holy Rule of St. Benedict] - Online translation by Rev. Boniface Verheyen, OSB, of St. Benedict's Abbey
* [ Benedictine College] - Dynamically Catholic, Benedictine, Liberal Arts, and Residential
* [ Bibliography]

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