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Saint Gertrude the
Of the many favors lavished on His spouse, Our Lord bestowed four
graces of special importance. Saint Gertrude does not
definitely name the first. She called it the great grace,
and when she attempts to speak of it, her heart immediately overflows
with praise and gratitude toward her Divine Spouse. It is only from a
careful study of her life that one surmises that this grace was the
impression of Our Lord's Sacred Wounds upon her heart which was
received after and through
ardent desire and constant prayer. After Our Lord's first visit,
she wrote this most sublime prayer in honor of
O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, grant that I may aspire
towards Thee with my whole heart, with yearning desire and with
thirsting soul, seeking only Thy sweetness and Thy delights, so that my
whole mind and all that is within me may ardently sigh to Thee, who art
our true Beatitude.
O most merciful Lord, engrave Thy Wounds upon my heart with Thy most
Precious Blood, that I may read in them both Thy grief and Thy love;
and that the memory of Thy Wounds may ever remain in my inmost heart,
to excite my compassion for Thy sufferings and to increase in me Thy
love. Grant also that I may despise all creatures, and that my heart
may delight in Thee alone. Amen. 
"This prayer," wrote Gertrude, "pleased me very much. I memorized it
and recited it frequently. One afternoon, during the same winter . . .
suddenly became conscious that Our Lord had deigned to hear me, I felt,
O my God, how Thou didst imprint on my heart Thy adorable Wounds, even
as they are on Thy Sacred Body. Notwithstanding my exceeding
unworthiness, Thy infinite bounty has even to this hour preserved
We are certain that even though this special form of stigmata was a
spiritual one and not that of the physical, Gertrude suffered
exceedingly real pains the rest of her life. Yet, her suffering was
relieved by the increase of her devotion to Our Lord.
grace, frequently mentioned in her book of Revelations, occurred during
Advent, seven years later,
while she was at Holy Mass: "After I had received the Sacrament of
Life, I saw a ray of light, like an arrow, dart forth from the Sacred
Wound in Thy right Side, on the Crucifix . . . It advanced toward me
and pierced my heart. Then Thou didst say to me: 'May the full tide of
thy affection rise to Me, so that all thy pleasure, thy hope, thy joy,
thy grief, thy fear and every other feeling may be sustained by My
Years later our Saint listened to the inspirations of a Dominican
Father who spoke most
impressively on the love of our Heavenly Master, "Love is like an
arrow," he said, "what ever we shoot with it, we may call our own!"
These words of his filled her heart with vehement love and happiness
and she exclaimed: "Ah! who will grant me that
I may obtain such an arrow! Immediately I would transpierce Thee, the
Only-beloved of my heart, that I might possess Thee eternally!"
Instantly she beheld her heavenly Spouse Who carried a golden arrow in
hand, and said: "Thou didst desire to wound Me; but I have a golden
arrow with which I will pierce thee so that thy wound may never heal."
This arrow sank pierced her heart so deeply that her soul was wounded
in three ways:
1. All earthly pleasures became distasteful, and there was nothing in
the world could her soul enjoyment or consolation.
2. It caused
an ardent desire in her soul to be united to God, so that she felt she
could live apart from Him or even take a breath without Him.
3. It so transfixing
her soul as to almost separate it from her body which filled her
with a surge of Divine delights.
The third special grace, consists of an exchange of hearts between Our Lord and St.
Gertrude. Writing of this, she says: "Thou hast granted me Thy
secret friendship, by opening to me the sacred ark of Thy
Deified Heart in so many different ways as to be the source of all my
happiness. Sometimes as a special mark of our mutual friendship, Thou
didst exchange It for mine!" Afterwards the holy virgin felt her
Divine Spouse live and love within he, which is really beyond all
The visit of the Infant Jesus to
heart is the fourth special favor of our Saint. Her account of
this grace is most exquisite: "It was the anniversary
of the blessed night of Our Lord's Nativity. In spirit, I tried to
fulfill the office of servant of the glorious Mother of God when I felt
that a tender, new-born Infant was placed in my heart. At the same
instant, I beheld my soul entirely transformed. Then I understood the
meaning of these sweet words: 'God will be all in all' [1 Cor. 15:28].
My soul, which was enriched by the presence of my Beloved, soon knew,
by its transports of joy, that it possessed its Spouse. My thirst for
Thee was satisfied by these words: 'As I, in My Divinity, am the figure
of the substance of My Father, so also shalt thou be the figure of My
substance in My Humanity. As the sun communicates to the air its own
brightness and light, thus will I deify thy soul, penetrating it with
the rays of My Divinity to prepare thee for the closest union with Me.'
God not only granted these extraordinary graces
to St. Gertrude, He also promised great graces to all who, after her
death, should venerate her.
SAINT GERTRUDE THE GREAT:
HERALD OF DIVINE LOVE, TAN BOOKS, p. 20.
11. Ibid., pp. 20-21.
Ibid., pp. 23-24.
Excerpts Published on the web with
permission of Tan Books.
for the Promises Regarding Saint Gertrude.