Saint Gertrude and the Holy Souls 

Image may contain: 1 person, standing

Saint Gertrude and the Holy Souls

Saint Gertrude had a deep empathy for the Church suffering, the Holy Souls in Purgatory. At every Holy Communion, she beseeched Jesus for His mercy to be bestowed on them. During one Holy Communion, she experienced the descent into Purgatory with Our Lord. She heard Him say: “At Holy Communion, I will permit thee to draw forth all to whom the fragrance of thy prayers penetrates.” After Holy Communion, Our Lord customarily delivered more Souls than she had dared to ask for.

One time when Gertrude was praying with great fervour for the Holy souls, she asked Our Lord how many Souls His mercy would release, He answered: “My love urges Me to release the Poor Souls. If a beneficent king leaves his guilty friend in prison for justice’s sake, he awaits with longing for one of his nobles to plead for the prisoner and to offer something for his release. Then the king joyfully sets him free. Similarly, I accept with highest pleasure what is offered to Me for the Poor Souls, for I long inexpressibly to have near Me those for whom I paid so great a price. By the prayers of thy loving soul, I am induced to free a prisoner from Purgatory as often as thou dost move thy tongue to utter a word of prayer!” [29]

Our Savior taught Gertrude for whom she should most ardently pray for. On the day when the community commemorated in common the death of their parents, Gertrude saw the happy souls ascend the darkness of Purgatory like sparks from a flame. She asked Our Lord if all these were relatives. He answered: “I am thy nearest relative, thy father and thy mother. Therefore, My special friends are thy nearest relatives, and these are among those whom I have liberated.” [30]

GERTRUDE was asked by someone, that when she offered to God all the gratuitous gifts with which He had favoured her, to request that she might have a share in their merit. “As she prayed thus, she perceived this person standing before the Lord, Who was seated on His throne of glory, and held in His hand a robe magnificently adorned, which He presented to her, but still without clothing her in it. The Saint, being surprised at this, said to Him: ‘When I made a similar offering to Thee, a few days since, Thou didst at once take the Soul of the poor woman for whom I prayed to the joys of Paradise; and why, most loving Lord, dost Thou not now clothe this person with the robe which thou hast shown her, and which she so ardently desires, through the merits of the graces Thou hast bestowed on me, though so unworthy of them?’ Our Lord answered: ‘When anything is offered to Me for the faithful departed, I immediately use it for them, according to My natural inclination to show mercy and pardon, either for the remission of their sins for their consolation, or for the increase of their eternal felicity, according to the condition of those for whom the offering is made.'” [31]

Prayer to Release 1000 Souls from Purgatory

Our Lord told St. Gertrude the Great that the following prayer would release 1,000 Souls from Purgatory each time it is said. The prayer was later extended to include living sinners as well.

“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.”

Ecclesiastical approbation: M. Cardinal Pahiarca at Lisbon, Portugal, March 4, 1936

This prayer is also found on the Saint’s page of prayers, which is printable.

29. SAINT GERTRUDE THE GREAT: HERALD OF DIVINE LOVE, TAN BOOKS, p. 44.
30. Ibid., p. 45.

Excerpts Published on the web with permission of Tan Books.

31. THE LIFE AND REVELATIONS OF ST. GERTRUDE, p. 253.

Saint Clement I

Image may contain: 3 people, people standing

Saint Clement I., Pope and Martyr

Whilst the holy Apostles, Peter and Paul, were preaching the Gospel at Rome, there came to them Clement, a son of Faustinus, who was related to the Emperor Domitian. After several discourses with St Peter, he saw the error of Paganism in which he had been born and educated, and became a convert to the Christian faith. He progressed so rapidly in virtue and holiness, that he was of great help to Paul in converting the heathen, as the holy Apostle testifies in his Epistle to the Philippians. The unwearied zeal he manifested in such holy endeavors, his purity and other bright virtues, raised him, after the death of Sts. Linus and Cletus, to the government of the entire Church of Christ.

In this elevated but burdensome dignity, his holy life was an example to his flock. He gave several excellent laws to the Church, by one of which he divided the city into seven districts, and placed in each a notary to record the deeds, virtues and martyrdom of those who were persecuted for Christ’s sake, that posterity, admiring their heroism, might be animated to follow their example. His sermons were so full of deep thought and so powerful, that he daily converted several heathens. Among these was Flavia Domitilla, a niece of the Emperor Domitian, who not only became a zealous Christian, but refusing several advantageous offers of marriage, vowed her virginity to God. He converted Sisinius, one of the most influential men in the city, by a miracle. While yet a heathen, Sisinius went unseen into the secret chapel where the Christians assembled, in order to ascertain what they were doing, and to see whether his wife was among them. God, however, punished him immediately with blindness in both eyes. He discovered himself by calling for, some one to lead him home; and St. Clement, who was present, went to him, and, restoring his sight after a short prayer, he improved the occasion to explain to him the truths of Christianity. Continue reading

St. Felicitas

St. Felicitas

MARTYR.

The earliest list of the Roman feasts of martyrs, known as the “Depositio Martyrum” and dating from the time of Pope Liberius, i.e. about the middle of the fourth century (Ruinart, Acta sincera, Ratisbon, p. 631), mentions seven martyrs whose feast was kept on 10 July. Their remains had been deposited in four different catacombs, viz. in three cemeteries on the Via Salaria and in one on the Via Appia. Two of the martyrs, Felix and Philip, reposed in the catacomb of Priscilla; Martial, Vitalis and Alexander, in the Coemeterium Jordanorum; Silanus (or Silvanus) in the catacomb of Maximus, and Januarius in that of Prætextatus. To the name of Silanus is added the statement that his body was stolen by the Novatians (hunc Silanum martyrem Novatiani furati sunt). In the Acts of these martyrs, that certainly existed in the sixth century, since Gregory the Great refers to them in his “Homiliæ super Evangelia” (Lib. I, hom. iii, in P.L., LXXVI, 1087), it is stated that all seven were sons of Felicitas, a noble Roman lady. According to these Acts Felicitas and her seven sons were imprisoned because of their Christian Faith, at the instigation of pagan priests, during the reign of Emperor Antoninus. Before the prefect Publius they adhered firmly to their religion, and were delivered over to four judges, who condemned them to various modes of death. The division of the martyrs among four judges corresponds to the four places of their burial. St. Felicitas herself was buried in the catacomb of Maximus on the Via Salaria, beside Silanus. Continue reading

The Catholic Origins of Thanksgiving

Image may contain: one or more people and outdoor

The Catholic Origins of Thanksgiving

The secular history books will tell you that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the heretical Protestant pilgrims of Massachusetts in 1621. Not so.The first American Thanksgiving was actually celebrated on 8 September (feast of the birth of the Blessed Virgin) in 1565 in St. Augustine, Florida. The Native Americans and Spanish settlers held a feast and the Holy Mass was offered. This was 56 years before the extremist Puritan pilgrims landed on Massachusetts. Don Pedro Menendez came ashore amid the great fanfare of sounding of trumpets, artillery salutes and the firing of cannons to claim the land for King Philip II and Spain. The ship chaplain Fr. Francisco Lopez de Mendoza Grajales chanted the Te Deum and presented a crucifix that Menendez ceremoniously kissed. Then the 500 soldiers, 200 sailors and 100 families and artisans, along with the Timucuan Indians celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in gratitude to God. Continue reading