Gertrude the Great

1256-1302

Born in Germany’s Thuringia state, this virgin was entrusted at the age of 5 to the Cistercian nuns at Saxony’s Helfta Abbey, where she was educated and became a nun. At 25, she had a mystical “conversion” and thereafter lived a contemplative life. Her experiences are included in “Revelations of Gertrude and Mechtilde.” Gertrude also was among the first to promote devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In 1738, Pope Clement XII decreed that the feast of this important medieval mystic be celebrated throughout the Western church.

Catholic News Service is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' news and information service.

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