Friday, September 16, 2011

St. Gertrude the Great

St. Gertrude is one of the better-known Benedictine abbesses in our day. Many women embraced the Benedictine life over the centuries; many became teachers and mystics, healers and saints. They sought knowledge and holiness of life - these two, for so many of them, were inseparable. Gertrude was no different.

St. Gertrude of Hackleborn governed the monastery at the time St. Gertrude arrived for her education. The child was only five years old, but began a life destined to illumine the Church. She began as a student and loved her studies so much that she later accused herself of sin in this regard. (She thought that she put more emphasis on the study of God than on God himself.) But she loved him dearly. She received visions and illuminations throughout her life and, in her turn, governed the monastery wisely and well. Her strongest devotion was to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (she pre-dated St. Margaret Mary by about 400 years.) You can read more of her and by her in many sources.

She is yet another of the lights of the Church given by St. Benedict.

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