Sainte Gertrude d'Helfta-RELICS

Saint Gertrude of Helfta

  1. Early life and entry into the monastery: Gertrude was born around the year 1256 in Thuringia, Germany, into a noble family. At the age of five, she was entrusted to the Benedictine monastery of Helfta, where she received her education and began her religious life. She took her religious vows at the age of 25.

  2. Monastic life: Gertrude spent most of her life as a nun at the Helfta Monastery, also known as the Abbey of Saint Mary of Helfta. She held various positions there, including that of prioress.

  3. Mysticism and spiritual experience: Saint Gertrude is best known for her profound mystical experiences and her intimate relationship with God. She had a deep love for Christ and recorded many mystical visions and revelations in her writings, the most famous of which is "The Exercises of Saint Gertrude".

  4. Written works: Gertrude wrote several spiritual works, including "The Exercises of Saint Gertrude", which are meditations and prayers to deepen the spiritual life. She also wrote about divine mercy, grace, redemption, and the love of God.

  5. Spiritual influence: The writings of Saint Gertrude had a significant impact on medieval Christian spirituality. She is considered one of the great Christian mystics of her time and is recognized for her deep understanding of divine grace and God's love.

  6. Death: Saint Gertrude died on November 17, 1302 in Helfta, Saxony, at the age of approximately 46. His body was buried in the monastery.

Legacy and recognition:

  1. Canonization: Although she was venerated as a saint immediately after her death, Saint Gertrude was not formally canonized until 1677 by Pope Clement X.

  2. Patron Saint: She is recognized as the patron saint of travelers, gardeners and people suffering from liver diseases.

  3. The Order of the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Helfta: The monastery of Helfta, where Saint Gertrude lived, was dissolved at the time of the Protestant Reformation, but it was reestablished in the 20th century by Benedictine nuns and now bears the name "Kloster Helfta." This order helped to make the spirituality of Saint Gertrude more widely known.

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