Our Saint is on the left, instructing the novice, St. Gertrude.

St. Mechtilde

November 16

1241- 98

Of the noble von Hackeborn family of Helfta, Saxony, she was placed in the convent of Rossdorf, where her sister Gertrude was soon elected abbess, when she was seven, became a nun there, and moved with the nuns in 1258 to a monastery at Helfta, where in 1261 St. Gertrude the Great, then five, was placed in her care. They became close friends, and Mechtildis [Mechtilde], who had mystical experiences of her own, helped Gertrude with her Book of Special Graces [also called The Revelations of St. Mechtildis], and the two Saints collaborated on a series of prayers. Mechtildis died on November 19, and though never officially canonized she is considered a Saint, and her feast is permitted in Benedictine convents on November 16.  It is difficult, actually impossible to believe that she is listed in so many books on the Saints, that she could have instructed my favorite Saint, Gertrude, shaping her into a Saint, and not have become a Saint herself; neither would Gertrude have associated herself with anyone for such a close collaboration on a book on prayer who was not living a holy life nor in the state of grace. There have been several times when the Church has determined Sainthood by an outpouring of acclaim without formal canonization, although this form of  "decree" remains the exception and not the rule. The acclaim must be accompanied by testimony and a known, verified life of heroic sanctity, or the one being so acclaimed died in the odor of sanctity and or had proven miracles. In the earlier periods of the Church the formal process of canonization had not been established as it was later on.  But back then there was no world-wide apostasy where many Catholics are confused and or belief a false doctrine while calling themselves Catholic. This indictment includes hierarchy, not just laity. Today such an outpouring might be suspect, at least be justly open to such a a suspicion.

 There are two mystics with the name of Mechtilde and both from the same locale, but they did not live in the same eras.




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