St. Gertrude the Great

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St. Gertrude the Great, Abbess and Virgin

The Roman Martyrology commemorates, today, the virgin St. Gertrude, who is to be distinguished from another virgin of the same name, whose life is recorded in the month of March. The Breviary relates of her, as follows: Gertrude was born at Eisleben, in Saxony, the same place where, two hundred years later, the unhappy Luther came into the world. When hardly five years old, she went into the Benedictine convent at Rudersdorf, to consecrate herself entirely to the service of the Most High. From that time, she despised all that was worldly, and striving only after virtue, led an almost heavenly life. The meditation of the divine mysteries, to which she was much devoted, served her as an incitement to virtue and perfection. In all her actions, she sought only the honor of God. Her conversations on our Lord and His holy life were most edifying, and her devotion to the Holy Eucharist, and the bitter passion and death of Christ was so fervent, that she frequently shed floods of tears in contemplating them. The Virgin Mother, whom in a vision, Christ had given her as mother, she venerated with filial affection. She daily offered all her prayers and other good works for the souls in purgatory, many of whom she freed from their sufferings. Continue reading

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