Gertrude the Great of Helfta

November 16

St. Gertrude was born in 1256, and when she was five she went to the Benedictine convent at Helfta, Saxony. While at the convent, she studied the works of St. Augustine and St. Bernard of Clairvaux, and became a good friend to her tutor, St. Mechtild.

When Gertrude was in her mid-twenties, Christ came to her in a vision, in the form of a handsome young man. In this vision, Christ asked her to come near, but she found her way blocked by a thorny hedge -- a manifestation of her sins and flaws. Jesus reached out and placed her by his side. This vision spawned her career as a mystic and spiritual advisor, and formed part of her Revelations of St. Gertrude. She died in 1302 after many years of helpful guidance and prayerful solitude.

If St. Gertrude had taken the Spiritual Types Test, she probably would have been a Mystic. November 16 is the feast day for St. Gertrude. (Art is close-up of stained glass window in the Church of the Holy Cross, St. Leo Abbey, Florida.)


Today's Reflection

Gertrude the Great of Helfta