Visions of St. Gertrude the Great
When Our Lord wants a message to get out to His Church, he raises up a powerful Saint to do the task. Such a Saint was Gertrude the Great! She was the one to plant the seed which would bloom through the hands of another powerful Saint and visionary, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, four centuries later, and subsequently through Saint Faustina Kowalska in the 20th Century, through the Mission of Divine Mercy. Our Lord's mandate to St. Gertrude was to herald devotion to His Most Sacred Heart.
She came to us in the Thirteenth Century, a time of rampant heresy and glorious victory. The Lord promised that His Church, although besieged by persecution, would triumph in the end; in the Thirteenth Century, with His Infinite Humility, He raised up great Saints to bring this about. St. Gertrude received the title "the Great" partially because of the extraordinary gifts she received from the Lord, but we believe more for her total dedication to her Spouse Jesus.
Why did the Lord want devotion to His Most Sacred Heart to begin at this time? We know that He brought about the Miracle of the Eucharist at Bolsena to dispel the heresy of Berengarianism in this century, but why did He give the message to St. Gertrude to bring about an awareness and love of His Most Sacred Heart, the Furnace of His Love?
Six centuries before, in around the year 720, His children were being led astray, innocent lambs being led to slaughter by some "judas goats," and so God in His Mercy gave His little ones a Miracle of the Eucharist in the Form of a Human Heart! Then six centuries later, He sends a Saint to herald devotion to His Most Sacred Heart, to let us know how much He loves us, how we can find refuge and strength in the Mercy of His Sacred Heart. Is this book not about His Mercy? God could not have shown more Mercy and Compassion than to give us an opportunity to be made ready for Him by gracing us with Purgatory.
He gave us Miracles of the Eucharist, whenever we were in danger of losing our faith. Why? Because He wanted us to know that He is with us, reachable and waiting for us, coming to dwell in us during the ongoing Sacrifice of the Cross, the Sacrifice of the Mass. He told St. Gertrude:
"You can find Me in no place where I delight more, or which is more suitable for Me, than in the Sacrament of the Altar."
This reaffirms a theme that runs through our books on Visionaries, Mystics and Stigmatists, Saints, Angels, Mother Mary and Miracles of the Eucharist that no one, nothing is more dear and precious to the Lord than us sharing in the Sacrifice of the Cross. You will read throughout this book how the most powerful arrow that can pierce the loving Heart of God the Father, moving Him to have mercy on us, is Our Lord's Passion, Death and Resurrection, that ongoing Sacrifice of the Cross - the Sacrifice of the Mass.
Our story begins in the village of Helfta, Germany. A little girl, barely five years old entered a Benedictine convent, a community filled with holy cloistered nuns whose whole life was the Lord. They knew and believed that the Lord was as truly present in the Blessed Sacrament as He was in Heaven and so they spent much of their lives on earth adoring Him. From this fountain of faith flowed a desire to praise him morning, day and night, praying the Divine Office. Gertrude grew in holiness and when she came of age, she became a Bride of Christ.
Gertrude receives her first vision
Her Bridegroom Jesus appeared to her when she was twenty-six years old. During Advent, she had been filled with a restlessness and longing to be closer to Jesus. The more she meditated, the more she began to have a disdain for the things of the world. One evening, she was about to retire, when Our Lord appeared to her as a very handsome young Man. He said: "Thy salvation is at hand. Why are you so consumed by sorrow?" She had received her first vision!
Now, she knew that she was in her dormitory, but it seemed as if she was being transported to the corner of the choir. Jesus spoke to her:
"I will save and deliver you. Fear not."
Our Lord opened His Arms wide to embrace her. She tried to approach Him, but a hedge, made thick with long menacing thorns barred the way, looming between them, separating her from Him. As she knew that the hedge and thorns were the times she had sinned and displeased the Lord, she began to weep. The Lord extended His Hand, and as if some unseen force had lifted her, she was beside Him. He invited her to rest her head on His Precious Chest. Her eyes went from His pierced Heart to His Hands and Feet; and there before her were His five Wounds, bleeding out of love for her and us "the radiant jewels of His Sacred Wounds."
St. Gertrude tells us that after this she was converted, not that she had been anything but virtuous. She had always been a good student, excelling in Latin, History and other worldly subjects. But after this, she had eyes only for the Word of God in Holy Scripture and the works of such Church Fathers as Saints Augustine, Gregory and Bernard.
St. Gertrude lived to love Jesus alone; pleasing Him was her sole objective in life. She sought and found Him everywhere, but most especially in the Eucharist. Jesus was consistently in her mind and on her heart; she took to heart His words, when Our Lord said:
"I delight so much in her, I have chosen to dwell in her. All that others see and love in her is My work; and whoever loves My work in her, loves Me. I have decreed that she stand alone, without friends or relatives, that none may love her from ties of relationship, but that I Myself may be the sole cause of her being loved and esteemed."
She had ultimate confidence in Jesus' Love and Mercy. He told her:
"It is impossible that anyone should not receive all that he has believed and hoped to obtain. It gives Me great pleasure when men hope great things from Me and I will always grant them more than they expect."
She turned to Jesus, as she would to an earthly father, with the complete trust of a child. No petition was too small or too great. On one occasion, when she had lost a needle in a pile of straw, she asked the Lord to find it for her:
"It would be in vain that I would search for this needle and so very much a waste of time. If You would be so kind, find it for me!"
She turned her head, groped with one of her hands and immediately found the needle. Our Lord delighted in her simplicity and innocence, and always rewarded her faith in Him with gifts affirming that faith.
The sisters were reading the Passion when they pronounced the words: "And bowing His Head, He gave up His Spirit," Jesus opened His Heart welcoming her within. The Angels began singing Alleluia, and the next thing you know, one of the sisters heard the Lord say:
"Behold you are united to Me and to become My own forever....I will present you to My Father by the close embrace of My Heart."
You can be sure that there was a Heavenly Court made up of all the Souls who had been released from Purgatory through her intercession, also awaiting her in Heaven with big signs welcoming her Home!
Many more Visions are in the link below: