Sunday, November 16, 2008

November 16th: St. Gertrude the Great

Born in 1256 in Eisleben, Saxony -- Martin Luther's home town, as it so happens -- Gertrude was raised at the Cistercian abbey from the age of five and distinguished herself as an extremely bright student. Although St. Margaret Mary Alacocque is most commonly associated with devotion to the Sacred Heart, St. Gertrude was also responsible for spreading this devotion. She received many visions during her life; the first one took place when she was 26, when Jesus appeared to her and reproached her for her inordinate love of study. Her writings -- many of which have unfortunately been lost -- influenced many saints, including St. Teresa of Avila and St. Francis de Sales.

St. Gertrude is well known today for a prayer she received for the souls in Purgatory:
Eternal Father, I offer you the most precious Blood of Your Divine Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in union with all the Masses offered throughout the world this day, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and for sinners everywhere, in my home and in my family.
Read more about St. Gertrude here.

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