|Gertrude the Great (January 6, 1256–November
17, 1301) was a German Benedictine and mystic writer.
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.
to enlarge image
She died at Helfta, near Eisleben, Saxony, 17 November, 1301 or 1302.
She is properly known as Saint Gertrude for, although never formally
canonized, she was equipollently canonized in 1677 by Pope Clement XII
when he inserted her name in the Roman Martyrology. Her feast was set
for November 16.
Prayer of Saint Gertrude St. Gertrude the Great is invoked for souls
in purgatory and for living sinners. Our Lord told St. Gertrude that the
following prayer would release 1000 souls from purgatory each time it
is said. The prayer was extended to include living sinners as well.
"Eternal Father, I offer You the most Precious Blood of Your
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, those in my own home and within
my family. Amen."
Approval and Recommendation
signed by M. Cardinal Pahiarca, Lisbon, Portugal March 4, 1936. The
Approval and Recommendation does NOT include the extension.
The Life and Revelations
of Saint Gertrude the Great - the full text online
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
May my soul bless you, Lord God, my creator; may my soul bless
you and from the marrow of my innermost being may thanks be given for
your mercies, with which your most intemperate love has so undeservedly
Libris Insinuationum divinae pietatis, by St.