St Gertrude

(c. 1256—1302)

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German mystic. Entrusted as a child to the nuns of Helfta in Thuringia, at 25 she experienced a conversion and then led a life of contemplation. She was associated with Mechthild of Magdeburg and St Mechthild of Hackenborn. Her Legatus Divinae Pietatis (of which only the second book was written by her, the other four being based on notes) is one of the major literary products of Christian mysticism. She was an early exponent of devotion to the Sacred Heart and is the patroness of the West Indies. Feast day, 16 Nov.

Subjects: Christianity.

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