During Month Of Souls, Saint To Recall Is Mystic Known As 'Gertrude The Great'
By Susan Tassone
When it comes to rescuing souls in the netherworld, one has to mention the great Saint Gertrude.
This month that is dedicated to the poor souls, let us know quickly that Saint Gertrude was born in Eisleben, Thuringia, in 1256. That's in Germany. As a young girl she was placed in the care of the Benedictine nuns at Rodalsdorf where she became a nun in the same monastery and was elected Abbess in 1251.
St. Gertrude dedicated herself to the pursuit of perfection and gave herself over to prayer and contemplation. She was gifted with high intellectual capabilities along with being able to read and converse in Latin. Her devotion to her literary pursuits were the best and purest kind -- Scripture, the Church Fathers, and other theological works.
St. Gertrude began to have supernatural visions and mystical experiences at the age of 26. She received many powerful teachings.
She wrote a series of prayers that became very popular and through her writings helped spread devotion to the Sacred Heart. She meditated on the Passion of Christ which many times brought a flood of tears to her eyes. She had a tender love for Our Lady. Her life and revelations record many conversations with Our Lord where He reveals His great desire to grant mercy to souls and to reward the least good act.
Gertrudeís heart reached out to all. Her boundless charity embraced rich and poor, learned and simple. It was also manifested in her tenderness and sympathy toward the poor souls in purgatory.
With regard to suffering, Our Lord said to her, "When man, after applying the remedy for his suffering, patiently bears for love of Me that which he is unable to cure, he gains a glorious prize."
Regarding frequent communion, Jesus told Gertrude: "Those who have received me often on earth shall be more glorious in Heaven. At each Communion I increase, I multiply the riches which are to constitute the Christianís happiness in Heaven!"
Other visions expressed Our Lordís wishes for people to pray for the souls languishing in purgatory.
Our Lord once showed Gertrude a table of gold on which were many costly pearls. The pearls were prayers for the Holy Souls. At the same time the saint had a vision of souls freed from suffering and ascending in the form of bright sparks in different shapes to heaven.
In another vision, Our Lord told St. Gertrude that he longs for someone to ask Him to release souls from purgatory, just as a king who imprisons a friend for justiceĎs sake hopes that someone will beg for mercy for his friend.
Jesus said to St. Gertrude, "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 you move your tongue to utter a word of prayer."
On another day, St. Gertrude asked Our Lord how many souls His Mercy would release from purgatory and He replied that His Loves desires to release all souls from purgatory. He encouraged her to pray with confident assurance and to ask more than she dare for their release. In other words, Our Lord is telling us to pray and ask BIG, be BOLD!
In another vision, St. Gertrude was given the prayer which Our Lord told her would release 1,000 souls from Purgatory every time it is said with love and devotion.
"Eternal Father, I offer you 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, those in the Universal Church, in my home and in my own family."
Are 1,000 souls really released from purgatory?
Theologians tell us we may not be certain of the exact number. But we do know that Our Lord points to the efficacy of our prayers offered up for these suffering souls. A "thousand" souls released could very well mean more than we can count, more than we dare to ask.
St. Gertrudeís Feast Day is November 16. She is call "Great" because of her love for the Sacred Heart and the beloved souls in Purgatory.
We are told that most souls are released on Christmas Day. In honor of St. Gertrude add her prayer in your Christmas Cards. We can give Paradise to the holy souls and swell the ranks of the Church Triumphant. We can ask Our Lord to empty Purgatory on Christmas day. Let us ask more than we dare. Let us be BOLD in our asking. Let us give these suffering friends to Our Lord on His Birthday.
What a glorious Christmas day in Heaven it will be for everyone.
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