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St. Gertrude the Great

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St. Gertrude the Great

St. Gertrude the Great

November 16

by Hannah Crites
by Hannah Crites
On November 16, the Church celebrates the feast of St. Gertrude the Great, a Benedictine nun whose great love for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has helped earn her the title of "the Great." Here's seven interesting things you may not know about her.
  • She was born in the same town as Martin Luther
  • She was incredibly smart
  • She was a mystic

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November 16 Saint of the Day

November 16 Saint of the Day

Podcast © Franciscan Media
Saint Gertrude, a Benedictine nun, was one of the great mystics of the 13th century. Her form of spirituality was a blend of liturgical and personal prayer rooted in the Scriptures.

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St. Gertrude the Great

Today's Saint of the Day is St. Gertrude.


When Our Lord wants a message to get out to His Church, he raises up a powerful Saint to do the task. Such a Saint was Gertrude the Great! She was the one to plant the seed which would bloom through the hands of another powerful Saint and visionary, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, four centuries later, and subsequently through Saint Faustina Kowalska in the 20th Century, through the Mission of Divine Mercy. Our Lord's mandate to St. Gertrude was to herald devotion to His Most Sacred Heart. She came to us in the Thirteenth Century, a time of rampant heresy and glorious victory. The Lord promised that His Church, although besieged by persecution, would triumph in the end; in the Thirteenth Century, with His Infinite Humility, He raised up great Saints to bring this about. St. Gertrude received the title "the Great" partially because of the extraordinary gifts she received from the Lord, but we believe more for her total dedication to her Spouse Jesus.

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Your thoughts of me are thoughts of peace

From the Revelations by Saint Gertrude, virgin
May my soul bless you, O Lord God my Creator, may my soul bless you. From the very core of my being may all your merciful gifts sing your praise. Your generous care for your daughter has been rich in mercy; indeed it has been immeasurable, and as far as I am able I give you thanks. I praise and glorify your great patience which bore with me even though, from my infancy and childhood, adolescence and early womanhood, until I was nearly twenty-six, I was always so blindly irresponsible. Looking back I see that but for your protecting hand I would have been quite without conscience in thought, word or deed. But you came to my aid by giving me a natural dislike of evil and a natural delight in what is good, and provided me with necessary correction from those among whom I lived. Otherwise I should now have to admit to doing my own will whenever the opportunity offered itself, living like some pagan in a pagan society, and never understanding that you, my God, reward good deeds while punishing evil. Yet you had chosen me to be specially trained to serve you. I was a child of five when I began to live in a convent surrounded by your most devoted friends. To make amends for the way I previously lived, I offer you, most loving Father, all the sufferings of your beloved Son, from that first infant cry as he lay on the hay in the manger, until that final moment when, bowing his head, with a mighty voice, Christ gave up his spirit. I think, as I make this offering, of all that he underwent, his needs as a baby, his dependence as a young child, the hardships of youth and the trials of early manhood. To atone for all my neglect I offer, most loving Father, all that your only-begotten Son did during his life, whether in thought, word or deed. That sacred life was, I know, utterly perfect in all respects, from the moment he descended from your heavenly throne and came into this world, until finally he presented the glory of his victorious human nature to you, his Father. And now, as an act of thanksgiving, I praise and worship you, Father, in deepest humility for your most loving kindness and mercy. Though I was hurrying to my eternal loss, your thoughts of me were thoughts of peace and not of affliction, and you lifted me up with so many great favors. To these you added the inestimable gift of your intimate friendship, and in various ways allowed me to possess your Son’s own heart, that most noble ark of God united with the Godhead. You refused me no delight that could be mine. Finally, you drew me to yourself by your faithful promises of the good things you would give me from the hour of my death. So great are these promises that for their sake alone, even if you had given me nothing besides, my heart would sigh for you always and be filled with a lively hope.

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