The feast day of St. Gertrude is celebrated on November 16. She is the patron saint of West Indies, Nuns and travelers.
St. Gertrude was born at Eisleben in Saxony, Germany on Jan. 6, 1256. At the age of five, Gertrude was placed in the care of Benedictine nuns. She later joined the monastery, living a cloistered life.
At the age of 24, St. Gertrude was experiencing an interior crisis and depression. She experienced a vision of Jesus on Jan. 27, 1281. He told her:
“I have come to comfort you and bring you salvation.”
St. Gertrude was filled with a new zeal for her vocation to love Jesus. She considered herself a “bride of Christ”. She dedicated herself to studying scripture and spiritual writing. St. Gertrude was inspired to write five books. Three of them still exist.
Eventually she was elected Abbess. She also took charge of the monastery at Hefta. She and her nuns moved there. Gertrude was well educated. She was a mystic and had a great devotion to the saints, the souls in purgatory, the Passion of Our Lord and to His Sacred Heart. She also was devoted to the Bl. Virgin Mary.
The following prayer expresses her devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
“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. “
Prayer of Saint Gertrude the Great
In 1298, St. Gertrude became very ill. The suffering she experienced was transfigured into love. St. Gertrude died in the year 1302.
The devotion St. Gertrude had for the Poor Souls in Purgatory is well known. The following prayer was written by her out of compassion for those still on their journey to heaven.
Eternal Father, I offer You the most Precious Blood of your Son, Jesus Christ, in union with all the masses said around the world today, for all the Poor Souls in Purgatory,for sinners everywhere, in the Universal Church, in my home and in my family. Amen.
Quote of St. Gertrude
November is the Month of the Holy Souls