Today is the feast of St Gertrude the Great. For twenty years Our Lord appeared to Gertrude at least once every day, except for a period of eleven days when He withdrew in punishment for a worldly conversation. Very often He urged her, as His Church urges us all, to come to Him through Mary.
When Gertrude asked Him what she could do to please Him more, Jesus answered: "𝗕𝗲𝗵𝗼𝗹𝗱 𝗠𝘆 𝗠𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿. 𝗘𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗮𝘃𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝗿𝗮𝗶𝘀𝗲 𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗹𝘆." In the early years of her conversion, Our Lord said to the Saint: "𝗜 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗲 𝗠𝘆 𝘀𝘄𝗲𝗲𝘁 𝗠𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗮𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝘆 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝘁𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘀. 𝗜 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝗳𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗲." And when during a trial Gertrude called upon Jesus to help her; He replied: "𝗜 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗲 𝗠𝘆 𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝗺𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗺𝗲𝗿𝗰𝗶𝗳𝘂𝗹 𝗠𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗲, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗶𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵 𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗜 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗻𝘀𝗲 𝗠𝘆 𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗰𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗲." Henceforth Gertrude always begged Mary to prepare her soul for her reception of Holy Communion, during which the Saviour often appeared to her and consoled her.
Once, as the Saint was praying to Jesus to offer His Mother something to make up for her own lack of devotion toward the Blessed Virgin, Our Lord arose, and offering Mary His Sacred Heart, He said: "𝗠𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗹𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗠𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿, 𝗯𝗲𝗵𝗼𝗹𝗱 𝗠𝘆 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘁. 𝗜 𝗼𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿 𝗶𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗗𝗶𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗲𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗟𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗺𝗽𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗠𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗠𝘆 𝗠𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿. 𝗜𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗜 𝗼𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗲 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗳𝗶𝗹𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗮𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝗜 𝗴𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗲 𝘀𝗼 𝗺𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝘁𝗼𝗸𝗲𝗻𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗵, 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘂 𝗱𝗶𝗱𝘀𝘁 𝗻𝗼𝘂𝗿𝗶𝘀𝗵 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗿𝘆 𝗠𝗲 𝗮𝘀 𝗮 𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗹𝗲 𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝘆 𝗮𝗿𝗺𝘀. 𝗜𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝗜 𝗼𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗳𝗮𝗶𝘁𝗵𝗳𝘂𝗹 𝗹𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝗸𝗲𝗽𝘁 𝗠𝗲 𝗻𝗲𝗮𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗲 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗠𝘆 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗮𝗹 𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲, 𝗼𝗯𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝘆 𝘄𝗶𝘀𝗵𝗲𝘀, 𝗮𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝘆 𝘁𝗿𝘂𝗲 𝘀𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗺𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿. 𝗜 𝗼𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗲 𝗲𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗹𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗖𝗿𝗼𝘀𝘀 𝗺𝗮𝗱𝗲 𝗠𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗮 𝗺𝗲𝗮𝘀𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝗠𝘆 𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗽𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝘆 𝗯𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗱𝗲𝘀𝗼𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗠𝘆 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗲 𝗮 𝗴𝘂𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗮𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗹𝗼𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘀𝗼𝗻 (St. John, the Beloved Apostle). 𝗔𝗻𝗱 𝗹𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗹𝘆, 𝗯𝗲𝗵𝗼𝗹𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝗠𝘆 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗹𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗺𝗽𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗠𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗲𝘅𝗮𝗹𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝘆 𝗯𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝗔𝘀𝘀𝘂𝗺𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗳𝗮𝗿 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗦𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗔𝗻𝗴𝗲𝗹𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗿𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗲 𝗤𝘂𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗵."
And on a similar occasion, Gertrude saw Jesus go up to His Mother with the greatest respect, kneel down before her and, bowing His head, greet her in a most gracious and tender manner.
Once, when Gertrude prayed to Mary to fill her heart with such virtues that God would take pleasure in dwelling in it, Our Lady stooped down and planted in the Saint's heart various symbolic flowers: the rose of charity, the lily of purity, the violet of humility, the sunflower of obedience, and many others, showing thereby how promptly she assists those who invoke her.
The following day the lovely Mother of God appeared to Gertrude, in the presence of the Blessed Trinity, under the form of a dazzling white lily with three splendid leaves. Mary said to the Saint: "𝐈𝐟 𝐚𝐧𝐲𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐭𝐬 𝐦𝐞 𝐝𝐞𝐯𝐨𝐮𝐭𝐥𝐲 𝐚𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐈𝐦𝐦𝐚𝐜𝐮𝐥𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐋𝐢𝐥𝐲 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐌𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐇𝐨𝐥𝐲 𝐓𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐲, 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐫𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐑𝐨𝐬𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐞, 𝐈 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐝𝐨 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐡𝐢𝐦 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐈 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐎𝐦𝐧𝐢𝐩𝐨𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐅𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫, 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐖𝐢𝐬𝐝𝐨𝐦 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐒𝐨𝐧, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐛𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐲 𝐰𝐡𝐢𝐜𝐡 𝐟𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐬 𝐦𝐲 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐭, 𝐟𝐥𝐨𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐋𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐇𝐨𝐥𝐲 𝐆𝐡𝐨𝐬𝐭."
From that day Gertrude frequently greeted Mary with this prayer: "𝐼 ℎ𝑎𝑖𝑙 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑒, 𝐼𝑚𝑚𝑎𝑐𝑢𝑙𝑎𝑡𝑒 𝐿𝑖𝑙𝑦 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑔𝑙𝑜𝑟𝑖𝑜𝑢𝑠 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟 𝑝𝑒𝑎𝑐𝑒𝑓𝑢𝑙 𝑇𝑟𝑖𝑛𝑖𝑡𝑦, 𝑏𝑟𝑖𝑙𝑙𝑖𝑎𝑛𝑡 𝑅𝑜𝑠𝑒, 𝑑𝑒𝑙𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑃𝑎𝑟𝑎𝑑𝑖𝑠𝑒, 𝑜𝑓 𝑤ℎ𝑜𝑚 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐾𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑜𝑓 𝐻𝑒𝑎𝑣𝑒𝑛 𝑤𝑖𝑠ℎ𝑒𝑑 𝑡𝑜 𝑏𝑒 𝑏𝑜𝑟𝑛, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑤ℎ𝑜𝑠𝑒 𝑚𝑖𝑙𝑘 𝐻𝑒 𝑤𝑖𝑠ℎ𝑒𝑑 𝑡𝑜 𝑏𝑒 𝑛𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑖𝑠ℎ𝑒𝑑. 𝑁𝑜𝑢𝑟𝑖𝑠ℎ 𝑜𝑢𝑟 𝑠𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑠 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝐷𝑖𝑣𝑖𝑛𝑒 𝑔𝑟𝑎𝑐𝑒𝑠!"
The Blessed Virgin Mary rewarded Gertrude's fervent devotion on one Feast of the Assumption when she rose from her throne in Heaven and beckoned Gertrude to come next to her place. But Gertrude drew back, exclaiming: "𝐎 𝐐𝐮𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐠𝐥𝐨𝐫𝐲, 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐈 𝐝𝐨 𝐭𝐨 𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐭 𝐬𝐨 𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐭 𝐚 𝐟𝐚𝐯𝐨𝐫?" Then Our Lady explained that she could use her merits, especially Mary's purity, humility, and charity, and offer them to God to obtain this privilege. Thus, clothed in Mary's merits, the Saint received her Lord in Holy Communion. Finally, in a marvelous vision she saw the glorious Mother of God conducted up to highest Heaven by her Divine Son amid the rejoicing of all the Saints and Angels. Then with her Son's right hand, Mary blessed Gertrude's convent, and the nun saw a gold cross shine over each of her Sisters' heads.
The last of Mary's many touching favors to St. Gertrude occurred at the latter's death: brilliant with splendor, the merciful Virgin Mary came to console her loving handmaid, and bending down, she gently and affectionately supported the dying Saint's head, as the King of Glory with infinite tenderness descended toward His faithful servant and drew her beautiful soul to Himself forever.