St. Gertrude the Great

Beloved in Christ, today are the feasts of a two different saints, but I thought we could speak today about St. Gertrude, also known as Gertrude the Great.
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She was born in 1256 in Germany. Nothing is known of her parents, so she may have been an orphan. As a young girl, she joined the Benedictine monastery of St. Mary at Helfta. She dedicated herself to study, becoming an expert in literature and philosophy. Through the years, she came to a deeper commitment to Christ, and she began to strive for perfection in her religious life.    
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Gertrude had frequent mystical experiences, including a vision of Jesus who invited her to rest her head on his breast and to hear the beating of his heart. She also had a great devotion to the Holy Souls in Purgatory. At every Holy Communion she asked Jesus to bestow his mercy on them. Once she experienced the descent into Purgatory with Christ. She heard Him say: “At Holy Communion I will permit thee to draw forth, those to whom the fragrance of thy prayers penetrates.” As it turned out, Jesus actually brought more people from Purgatory than she had even asked for in her prayers.
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One time Jesus said to her, regarding the Holy Souls in Purgatory: If a good king has a friend in prison, he waits with longing for one of his nobles to plead for the prisoner, for his release. Then the king joyfully sets him free. Similarly, I accept with great pleasure what is offered to Me for the Poor Souls, because I long to have near Me, those for whom I paid so great a price.
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Saint Gertrude had that boundless confidence, which opens the Heart of Christ. She urges us also, to have this total confidence in Christ. “All that I have received,” she said, is because of my confidence in the generous bounty of God.”
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Our Lord told St. Gertrude that the following prayer would release 1,000 souls from Purgatory each time it is said. The prayer was later applied to other sinners as well.
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“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.

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