Although there was little among the archives of evensong’s drafts, we have not desired to allow Saint Gertrudes’ feast day to go unhonored. And so with apologies for the poverty of our offering, we have the following quotes from the archives. These have not been reviewed for accuracy or edited, thus, an additional apology is due.
The first great saint of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is St. Gertrude, the only female saint honored by the Church with the title, “Great”. In her writings and in her actions, Saint Gertrude provides us with the certainty that devotion to His Immaculate Mother is the devotion which pleases Him most of all. Indeed, as we shall see, Our Lord Himself states clearly what is most pleasing to Him:
Once, when conversing with Our Lord, Gertrude inquired. “What dost Thou desire of me?” His answer: “Place thyself before My Mother, who reigns at My side, and endeavor to praise her.”
Gertrude then greeted the Heavenly Mother as the paradise of delights, the most beautiful habitation of God. She besought Mary to give her a heart so replete with virtues that God would take pleasure in dwelling therein. This good Mother adorned Gertrude with the rose of love, the lily of chastity, the violet of humility, and the heliotrope of obedience.
Our Lord Jesus, at the very beginning of His conversations with Gertrude told her, “I give thee My own Mother as thy protectress. I confide thee to her care.” Once, when Gertrude was being subjected to severe trials and suffering greatly, she cried out to Jesus to help her. In response she heard,
“I have given thee My own most merciful Mother for thine, and it is through her I will dispense My graces to thee. Have recourse to her in all thy necessities and thou wilt surely find strength and consolation.”
Our Lord assured Saint Gertrude that He wished her to write down all that He revealed to her:
“It is the love of My Heart which has inspired your writings; I wish them to be for later ages the evidence of My love, to draw souls to My Heart.”
One day, as St. Gertrude affectionately held and kissed her crucifix, Our Lord said to her: “Each time that a man does so, or merely looks upon a crucifix with devotion, the mercy of God looks down upon his soul. He ought then to think in his heart that these tender words are addressed to him: ‘Behold how for thy love I have willed to be attached to a cross, naked, disfigured, covered with wounds, and with all My members violently distended. My heart is so passionately enamoured of thee that, were it necessary in order to save thee, I would again willingly endure, for thee alone, all that I have suffered for the salvation of the whole world.’ ”
The Prayers of Saint Gertrude
Nearly every prayer of St. Gertrude contains salutation, adoration, praise, and thanksgiving, and at the end a short, humble petition. The predominant tone of all her prayers is to offer the sacrificial life of Jesus Christ, from His crib, where He weeps, bedded on the straw, to that hour when on the Cross He surrenders His Spirit into the hands of His Father. The immeasurable love of the Sacred Heart in the Holy Eucharist ravished Gertrude’s soul.
From this inexhaustible treasury, the holy virgin drew the excellence, power and unction of her prayers. Before the Sacrament of Love, her loving heart burst forth into songs of praise and joy, surpassing the understanding of men weighed down by earthly affections. The charm, love, and affection with which the blessed Gertrude knew how to unite herself with our Savior, with His prayers, His sufferings, His Death and merits, is beyond expression.
On one of Our Lady’s festivals, St. Gertrude chanted the office of this glorious Queen, in uniting herself to the Heart of Jesus. As she did so, she saw Him draw to that Divine Heart, the praises expressed in the psalms, and thence they flowed, like an impetuous current, towards the Blessed Virgin, His Mother. At the antiphon, “Thou art all fair,” Gertrude endeavored to sing these sweet words by the very Heart of Jesus, in memory of the loving appellations and childlike praises He must have bestowed upon her in similar terms, during His mortal life.
At this, stars of great brilliancy, symbolizing these praises, issued from the Heart of Jesus, and shed their luster on Our Lady. Some fell here and there upon the ground, and were collected by the citizens of Heaven, who presented them to Jesus with signs of inexpressible joy and admiration. Gertrude understood from this that the praises given to Our Lady by the Heart of Jesus are a source of unutterable glory and happiness to the Saints.
Meanwhile the Angels, uniting their voices to those of Gertrude’s Sisters, asked: “Quæ est ista”—Who is she?—and Jesus, with a powerful voice, answered: “The most beautiful of the daughters of Jerusalem.” This voice, issued from the Divine harp of His Sacred Heart, whose chords seemed touched by the Holy Spirit, and thus enabled to celebrate worthily the eminent glories of the Virgin Mother. Enraptured, as it were, with delight, Mary bent over the Heart of her most loving Son, and appeared to find therein the quiet of a peaceful sleep; but as the strophe, “O Gloriosa Domina,” was sung, she raised herself, as if about to respond to her daughters’ call, and extended her hand over them in token of motherly protection, and as if to assure them that, having all power over her Son’s Heart, she would efficaciously guard them from their enemies.
Once, St Gertrude said to Our Lord, “Teach me, my Lord, how I may show my devotion and love to Thy most blessed Mother.” Then, Our Lord taught her the following prayers and when she recited them, it seemed to her that she saw Our Lord offering His Sacred Heart, in the likeness of a gold vessel to His Mother. As our Most Blessed Lady drank from the golden vessel, St Gertrude understood that Our Lady delights in rewarding those who recite the prayers.
The excellent site, Catholic Tradition, linked in our sidebar, contains many of St. Gertrude’s prayers. The following are from the website, Archive.org.
St. Gertrude was taught the following prayer, containing three petitions by the Blessed Virgin Mary and she recalled that it seemed to her as though she were so clothed and adorned with her surpassing merits, that the Lord of Majesty took ineffable delight in her.
O most blessed Virgin Mary, I beseech thee, by the most spotless purity wherewith thou didst prepare in thy womb a still and glad abode for the Son of God, that by thy intercessions I may be cleansed from every stain. O most blessed Virgin Mary, I beseech thee by that thy most gentle, deep humility whereby thou didst merit to be raised high above all Angels and Saints, that by thy intercessions all my negligences may be forgiven and satisfied for.
O most blessed Virgin Mary, I implore thee by that unutterable love which united thee inseparably to God, that by thy intercessions I may receive an abundance of all merit. Amen.
And finally, the prayer which is called the Golden Ave:
Hail, Mary, in union with that sweet unction of the Holy Ghost, wherewith He so pervaded thee and made thee so full of grace, that everyone who through thee seeketh grace doth find it. Call to mind now that unspeakable operation wherewith the whole most Blessed Trinity wrought in thee, when human flesh taken from thy substance was so united to the Divine Nature that God was made man and man became God, and thy whole soul was suffused with a sweetness and a gladness which the heart of man cannot conceive. And therefore every creature with rapturous admiration doth acknowledge and confess that thou art blessed and incomparably exalted above all creatures in Heaven or on earth, and blessed the Fruit of thy womb, even Jesus, who quickens, sanctifies, and blesses all things for ever. Amen.
That prayer is reported to have been dictated to Saint Gertrude by Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. It is especially helpful as an aid in our meditations on Our Lady and her Mysteries of the Rosary.
Prayer to Saint Gertrude on her Feast Day
I venerate and greet thee, O most blessed Saint Gertrude. in the sweetest Heart of Jesus Christ, and I congratulate thee with all my heart on that honour wherewith thou wast honoured by God and by all the court of Heaven on this the day of thine entrance to heaven. And for the increase of thy joy and thy glory I offer thee that same transcendently precious and worthy Heart of Jesus Christ, beseeching thee that thou wouldst deign to pray to God for me, and to assist me in the hour of my death. Amen.
The above quotes were not attributed but we have found the sources (hopefully).
The Spirit of St. Gertrude or the Love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to His Creatures by an Anonymous Author, Burns, Lambert and Oates, 1866 from archive.org.
The Exercises of Saint Gertrude, Virgin and Abbess, author not cited, Burns and Lambert 1863 with introduction by Dom Prosper Gueranger, also from archive.org.
Preces Gertrudianae, Prayers of Saint Gertrude and Saint Mechtilde, Burns and Lambert, 1861, also archive.org.
Saint Gertrude the Great, Herald of Divine Love, TAN Books, Kindle Edition, Amazon
Love, Peace and Joy, Devotion to the Sacred Heart by Fr. Andre Prevot, TAN Books, Kindle Edition, Amazon
Life and Revelations of Saint Gertrude the Great, TAN Books, Kindle Edition, Amazon.
Remember – Our Lady needs us to obey: First Saturdays of Reparation, daily rosary, at least 5 mysteries, wear her brown scapular and live your Total Consecration to her Immaculate Heart, offering daily duties in reparation and for the conversion of poor sinners.
† Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
† Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
† St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
† St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.