St. Gertrude was born in 1256 at Eisleben in Saxony. At the age of five she was placed in the care of the Benedictine nuns at Helfta and later became a nun in the same abbey. There she delighted in the study of the Latin language and literature as well as music and painting.
At the age of twenty-five, Gertrude underwent a conversion to follow the Lord more closely. She began a life filled with humility, patience in suffering, and care for others. She dedicated herself to the meditation of Scripture and liturgical texts and frequented the reading of the Fathers.
St. Gertrude had enjoyed a good education. She wrote and composed in Latin, and was versed in sacred literature. The life of this Saint, though not replete with stirring events and striking actions, was one of great mental activity. It was the mystic life of the cloister, a life hidden with Christ in God.
The saintly woman was characterized by great devotion to the Sacred Humanity of our Lord in His Passion and in the Blessed Eucharist, and by a tender love for the Blessed Virgin. She died about 1302. Her feast was inserted in the Universal Calendar in 1677 by Pope Innocent XI.
PRAYER: God, You prepared a pleasing abode for Yourself in the heart of St. Gertrude the Virgin. Through her intercession, mercifully lighten the darkness of our hearts so that we may rejoice in the knowledge that You are present and working within us. Amen.