This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November 16 -- Feast of Saint Gertrude the Great

The crozier is a common error -- she was never abbess
It is not easy to land the title "the Great."  Only a handful of popes have earned it, and maybe a couple dozen kings and emperors.  And since most of history was not only recorded by men but also focused on men, it must have been that much harder for a woman like Gertrude to get acknowledged as great. 

It is tough to see, given what's recorded of her life, why she got the nod.  She was entrusted to a convent in Helfta, Germany at age five, raised there, lived and died there.  She was a helluva student, by all accounts, until she had a vision from the Lord turning her from secular topics to the study of the Bible and writings of the early Church leaders.  She read and wrote and prayed a lot, interspersing it all with visions and prophecies.