16/11: Feast of St Gertrude the Great…

The following account of the life of St Gertrude the Great, is taken from website of Catholic Tradition

January 6, 1232 – November 17, 1291

Saint Gertrude, Virgin, Mystic, and Benedictine Abbess, was called by Our Lord Himself, “My chosen Lily”, and the Church has given her the title of “Great” although she is not counted among the Doctors of the Church, at least as of yet. She is the only woman Saint to have been accorded this honor. There [is]  more than one Saint named Gertrude, one of whom was the Abbott of the monastery when Gertrude entered there at five, so it is an added blessing that she is distinguished by the term Great, for our sakes, because there is one less opportunity for confusion. It ought to come as no surprise that she was born in that great age of Saints, the 13th century, among which are numbered St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, and in the later years of which, both St. Francis of Assisi and St. Dominic, the latter two being born in the 12th century. Not only was this century the “Century of Saints”, but the age of the most wondrous of Saints.

Our Gertrude the Great was born at Eisleben, Germany, the same town as that of the unfortunate heretic, Martin Luther. But when she was born there were no Lutherans or any kind of Protestants because all of Christendom was Catholic. The revolt and upheaval would begin a scarce two centuries later. Note that she was born on the Feast of the Epiphany, destined as she was by God’s providence to be one of the Stars in the Communion of Saints. Her parentage is unknown for certain, although it is thought that she was born a countess, but we do know that when she was five years old, she was placed in the care of the Benedictine nuns at Helfta in Saxony, where she became the pupil and close friend of St. Mechtilde. The nuns there were known for their thoroughness in training and study, which only served to augment the intellectual gifts that God had bestowed on Gertrude. Very early on she was versed in Latin, the Bible, and the works of the Fathers of the Church. Yet, compared to her capacity for loving God, they pale. While still a child she began to speak to the Heart of Our Lord, her chosen One. She already had the capacity and the readiness to withdraw as much as possible from worldly pursuits in order to spend time with Him. And Jesus did come to her; the Benedictine sisters were not slow to learn that she was favored by Heaven. One nun, who suffered the torment of terrible temptations, had a dream in which she was told to ask Gertrude for help, to ask for her prayers. And as soon as Gertrude began to pray for her, the temptations ceased. Another religious had a similar urgent need of help. She took a cloth which had been used by the Saint, applied it to her heart and she was instantly healed of her spiritual malady. [2]

Our Lord Himself conveyed to another favored soul that Gertrude “contains and perfects in her soul those five virtues which please Me above all others, and which I have placed therein by a singular liberality; she possesses purity, by a continual influence of My grace; she possesses humility, amidst the great diversity of gifts which I have bestowed on her — for the more I effect in her, the more she abases herself; she possesses a true benignity, which makes her desire the salvation of the whole world for My greater glory; she possesses a true fidelity, spreading abroad, without reserve, all her treasures for the same end. Finally, she possesses a consummate charity; for she loves Me with her whole heart, with her whole soul, and with her whole strength; and for love of Me, she loves her neighbor as herself.” [3]

St. Gertrude was elected Abbess of her monastery in 1294 when she was but thirty. And for forty more years she continued to guide her spiritual children, many of whom attained a high degree of sanctity. As superior she was known for her zeal, and for her charity. Whenever anyone was suffering, whether in body or in spirit, she could not rest. If repentance was required she prayed and wept until the person had repented. She preferred this approach to severe upbraiding. So fervent were her nuns because this approach that not only did they attain sanctity but a number of them received singular favors from Heaven.

By this time Gertrude’s mystical union with her Spouse, Our Lord, Jesus, was so ardent and intimate that even the thought of sudden death could not disturb her. In fact she expressed her desire to join her Spouse. But she surrendered her will to His in this matter, saying that she preferred His will and providence even to the Sacraments.

Her confidence, which we shall speak about later, was so pre-eminent that it is impossible to think that his Sacred Heart could refuse her anything. It was not always thus. Once she had been praying fervently for a favor, which He had not yet granted. When asked Him why the delay, He replied that it was because she was lacking in confidence of the effects of His Mercy.

Later, He told St. Mechtilde, “I have united My Heart so closely to her soul by the ties of My Mercy that she has become one spirit with Me. It is on this account that she obeys so promptly all the desires of My will . . .” [4]

One year, before the Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord, St. Gertrude, addressing Our Lord’s Five Wounds, repeated the following salutation five thousand four hundred and sixty-six times: “Glory be to Thee, most sweet, most gentle, most benign, most noble, most excellent, effulgent, and ever-peaceful Trinity, for the roseate wounds of my only Love!” As she repeated this salutation, our Lord Jesus appeared to her, more beautiful than the Angels, bearing golden flowers on each Wound, and saluted her thus, with a serene countenance and the tenderest charity: “Behold in what glory I now appear to you. I will appear in the same manner to you at your death, and will cover all the stains of your sins, and of those also who salute My Wounds with the same devotion.” [5]

Gertrude’s life became daily more supernatural and often she experienced ecstasies in which she not only enjoyed the company of Our Lord, but His Holy Mother as well. Even her favorite Saints came to visit her.

She also wrote with St. Mechtilde a series of prayers that became very popular, and because of this and her writing, devotion to the Sacred Heart began to spread. After numerous sufferings and an almost lifelong set of infirmities, she now neared her death. The Sisters were reading the Passion of Christ at her bedside where Jesus appeared to her with Our Lady at His right hand. The nuns pronounced the words, “And bowing His Head, He gave up the ghost,” Jesus leaned toward the Saint, opening wide His adorable Heart, pouring forth all His love while the Angels surrounded her bed; she beheld them inviting her to Paradise and heard then singing, “Come, come, O mistress! . . . Alleluia, alleluia!” [6] She died at Helfta on November 17 and although never formally canonized, Pope Clement XII in 1677 directed that her Feast [Originally November 17, but in this past century, the 16th] be a universal Feast in the Church. She is listed in the Roman Martyrology, which lists all the Saints and Martyrs.

She is the patron of the West Indies because of a petition to the Holy See made by the King of Spain.  To learn more about this great saint, click here

Comment: 

My beloved mother (RIP) was named Elizabeth Gertrude, but, unfortunately, she hated her middle name. While she disliked the name,  though, she loved the saint and would boast that her middle name patron was “St Gertrude the Great“…

Clearly, St Gertrude the Great was highly favoured, although cynics would question the visits from Our Lord and other mystical experiences.   Such experiences appear to have been not uncommon in those days.  It seems unlikely that they are as common today.   Feel free to share your thoughts on that, but also consider what – if anything – we might learn from a saint like St Gertrude the Great that would help us to become more pleasing (to God) Catholics. 

11/2: Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes…

Our Lady of Lourdes, health of the sick, please pray for our friends and relatives who are suffering at this time; we remember especially Catholic Truth readers – Sean who is terminally ill, with only a short time to live according to doctors, Christina, Kay, Patricia, and all who have asked us to remember them in prayer. Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for them.

Comment: 

Feel free to add your own petitions for prayer on this thread, and, as with all Feast Day threads, post your favourite hymns, prayers, experiences, funny stories etc.   

13 May: Fatima Visionaries Canonised?

From Pope to make Fatima child visionaries saints

Two child shepherds who claimed to have had holy visions in Fatima are to be made saints, possibly during Pope Francis’s upcoming trip to the Portuguese pilgrimage site.

Francis gave the go-ahead Thursday to canonise Jacinta and Francisco Marto who, along with their cousin Lucia Santos, claimed to have witnessed apparitions of the Virgin Mary in a miracle officially recognised by the Catholic Church.

The children said Mary appeared to them first on May 13, 1917, when Jacinta was seven years old, Francisco nine and Lucia 10.

The siblings, born into a poor family, fell sick during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic which racked Europe after the First World War, with Francisco succumbing to the illness in 1919, and Jacinta following in 1920 aged just nine.

Both are buried at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, which Francis will visit during his May 12-13 trip to mark the centenary of their first sight of Mary.

Francis’s approval of the miracle attributed to them — reportedly the curing of a Brazilian boy — was the final step needed before the children could be made saints.

They will be the youngest non-martyrs to be canonised in the history of the church.

After her first visit, the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to them several times over a six-month period, always on the 13th.

This prompted thousands to gather on the spot on October 13, 1917, with several witnesses saying they had seen the sun “miraculously” dance in the sky.

Their cousin Lucia joined a convent. In 1941 she said she and the siblings had been given three secrets by Mary; the first was a vision of Hell and the second was a warning that another, more devastating war was looming — the Second World War.

The third secret she kept to herself for years, before finally being persuaded to write it down and it was delivered to the Vatican in 1957.

Finally published in 2000, it described a vision that was believed — with its depiction of the death of a man robed in white — to have been a prophecy of the 1981 assassination attempt on pope John Paul II.

The Argentine will be the fourth pope to visit the Fatima shrine, after Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI.  Source

Comment:

How did YOU vote in the poll? 

Why Ignore Our Lady of Good Success?

OLGSOn February 2, 1611 Our Lady of Good Success stated:

“Woe to those of the 20th Century … great calamities will befall the people of this epoch.” (Our Lady, 2nd February, 1611)

In 1582, at the age of eighteen, the Blessed Mother appeared to Mariana and asked her if she would be willing to offer her life for the sins of the Twentieth Century particularly for the sins of blasphemy, heresy and impurity.  In this apparition, Mariana was given to know all that was to happen during this time and died from the knowledge of it.  She was put before the Divine Tribunal to be given a choice of either staying in heaven or going back to earth to suffer for us.  Mariana agreed to go back to earth at the request of the Blessed Mother.  Thus she became a victim soul for our times.  Mariana had much to suffer and she did so willingly with patience and resignation…

Years later, Mother Mariana was given yet another vision pertaining to the 20th Century.  The date of that apparition was February 2, 1634, Feast of the Purification, the 40th anniversary of the first appearance of Our Lady of Good Success to Mother Mariana.   This was to be the last time Our Lady of Good Success was to appear to Mother Mariana on this particular Feast Day (which is now also considered the Feast Day of Our Lady of Good Success) for January of that next year, 1635, Mother Mariana would go to her eternal reward.  As Mother Mariana was praying in the upper choir loft before the Blessed Sacrament, as she often did, the Sanctuary lamp went out.  Mother Mariana was left in complete darkness. The extinguishing of the Sanctuary Light signified the dire straits the Church would be in during these times.

Our Lady of Good Success was quite clear on what would be the demise of the Catholic Church—the general theme–a lax and perverse clergy.  Certain members of the Catholic clergy would become as thieves stealing that Tabernacle light…thieves that would steal what is rightfully ours by virtue of our baptism in the Catholic Church—our Faith.  They would rob us of Doctrine, Dogma and Tradition—ransacking the Church as it were leaving us in total darkness without even as much as the light of the Sanctuary Lamp (which signifies the presence of the Holy Eucharist—Jesus Christ, Himself).  Our Lady of Good Success went into great detail to explain what the five reasons were for the extinguishing of the light.

The first reason why the lamp was snuffed out was because in the end of the 19th Century and the 20th Century, heresies would prevail not only in Ecuador but universally.  “As these heresies spread and dominate, the precious light of Faith will be extinguished in souls by the almost total corruption of customs.” (8)

The second reason was that in these times the Conceptionist Community would shrink and even be infected with bad attitudes and false charity as a result of the pervading situation of the Church at the time.  Many vocations would be lost as a direct result. “The faithful souls would suffer a continuous and slow martyrdom, weeping in secret and imploring that such dire times be shortened.” (9)

 The third reason the lamp failed was due to the fact that during this century a worldwide campaign against the virtues of chastity, and purity would succeed in ruining the youth.  Our Lady of Good Success affirmed, “There will be almost no virgin souls in the world”(10) 

The fourth reason the lamp was put out was to demonstrate how the Masonic and other secret sects would have so much influence on society and even the Church. “During these unfortunate times,” she foretold, “evil will invade childhood innocence.  In this way, vocations to the priesthood will be lost, resulting in a true calamity.” (11)  

Our Lady of Good Success could foresee that there would still be some good, faithful religious that would be willing to suffer all for the salvation of souls and sustenance of the Holy Catholic Church.   “The secular clergy will leave much to be desired because priests will become careless in their sacred duties.  Lacking the divine compass, they will stray from the road traced by God for the priestly ministry, and they will become attached to wealth and riches, which they will unduly strive to attain. How the Church will suffer during this dark night! Lacking a prelate and a father to guide them …many priests will lose their spirit, placing their souls in great danger.” (12)

The poor priestly souls that would be left to uphold the Church would suffer greatly.

“Against them the impious will rage a cruel war, overwhelming them with vituperations, calumnies and vexations in order to stop them from fulfilling their ministry.  But they, like firm columns, will remain unswerving and will confront everything with a spirit of humility and sacrifice with which they will be vested, by virtue of the infinite merits of my most Holy Son, Who will love them in the innermost fibers of His Most Holy and Tender Heart.(13)

Our Lady of Good Success implored that the people of this time should “clamor insistently” to the Heavenly Father for an end to ‘these ominous times’ sending to the Church a prelate and father who would restore the spirit to the priests”. (14)

The fifth reason the lamp went out was due to those who have the financial means to help the Church but do nothing.  Because of their uncaring attitude toward God and His Church, they would have allowed evil to seemingly triumph.

To read more about this Church approved apparition, click here

 Comment…

The astonishing thing is that, despite the detailed prophecies about Church and society made at Quito centuries ago, which are coming true before our very eyes, nobody seems to take them seriously.  Why IS Our Lady of Good Success being ignored? People quote unapproved apparitions as if they were gospel truth but it’s very seldom I’ve heard anyone mention Quito. Tell us your thoughts. 

Medjugorje: Spot The Heresies…

As we await the outcome of the Vatican Commission into the Medjugorje phenomenon, Michael Voris provides an excellent summary of the many reasons why it should be clear to anyone with even an elementary knowledge of the Faith, that whoever is appearing there, it is,most certainly not Our Lady.