Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Saint Gertrude the Great
Sometimes, in my spare time, I like to sift through the hundreds of saints on saints&angels. I've also been very drawn to the Scandinavian countries and Germany, as I love the people & the cultures and I wanted to see if there were any saints from these areas. Neither are notoriously Catholic countries...if anything they're incredibly secular-Protestant and even persecuted Catholics in the past so I wasn't expecting much when I did the google search. But I am glad I did because it changed my life. Well...maybe not earth shattering, but it was amazing none the less!
Saint Gertrude the Great was born in Germany and accepted into religious life as a teenager at Helfta. She was very into her studies and it was said she neglected her spiritual & prayer life in doing so. (sounds like someone I know...me! Gotta work on that asap...lol) But once she started having visions of Jesus, things changed, and she felt she was truly "converted" only after they began. From what I gather her experiences and life were collected and recorded into a book called The Herald of God's Loving Kindness (or simply Divine Love, but the one at Borders has the first title) I am so buying this book when I am in able to get to a Border's in the future!! She sounds like an incredible woman who was very human. (Not that saints aren't just that, human, but I can really relate to her for some reason) She struggled with everything we do and she's even let her priorities go out of whack at times. Just researching her visions and getting only vague answers is toying with me! There is a quote from CatholicEncyclopedia that states: "The spirit of St. Gertrude, which is marked by freedom, breadth, and vigour, is based on the Rule of Saint Benedict". How weird, my soul has been craving and aching for freedom and adventure, she'll be a great intercessor in my quest for just that ;) But MOST importantly, she had an incredible devotion to Jesus, The Sacred Heart, and the Holy Eucharist. I wish I had more to post, but alas I won't until after reading her book. (If anyone else knows more, feel free to post!)
I only see her prayer for the release of 1,000 souls in Purgatory on only some websites. It goes:
"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, 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, those in my own home and within my family. Amen."
So I don't know what truth this has just yet, but the prayer itself is very moving. I have to say it a few times just to meditate and it brings me to tears. St. Gertrude makes me realize my sins...my own humanity...and yet gives me such hope because I have the most perfect sacrifice in my Lord and Savior...why is God so Good???
Praise the Lord for a great day/weekend, despite how busy I am!!
Hope all is well on your sides of the computer screens!