Purgatory. Sounds pretty terrible right?
In reality many of us will have to face purgatory before we would be allowed into heaven. St. Gertrude’s Prayer helps our loved ones to that have passed away, to find their way into the eternal paradise promised to us all.
Purgatory The Last Stop Before Heaven
While we all try our best to live by the word and guidance of the Lord Almighty. It’s inevitable that we would step out of his loving light at some point in our lives and commit sin.
Think of your soul as starting out as a bright clean canvas at baptism. Throughout your life it losses its shine and its white surface becomes soiled with sin. While confession and repentance can help us to clear our souls of sin, when we die many of us still need to be cleansed of the sin in our soul in order to get into the eternal paradise that is heaven.
This is where purgatory comes in. Think of it as a type of detox clinic for sinners, not the sinful that deserve the fires of Hell, but for those that haven’t been able to live a truly clean and pure life to the service of the Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ.
Purgatory is where we purger our souls of sin with fire and pain, so that we may be ready to enter heaven. This is not a pleasant experience with the age old adage of “no pain, no gain” being rather suitable for the experience.
How long you linger in purgatory will largely depend on how much sin stains your soul. This is where St. Gertrude the Great comes in.
Thanks to St. Gertrude’s commitment and devotion to the Lord, he has blessed us with the means to help our loved ones to be cleansed of their sins and be granted passage into Heaven sooner.
St. Gertrude the Great
Born on January 6th, 1256 in Germany. Gertrude was sent to live at the St. Mary Monastery in Helfta at the age of 5, where she received her education and religious formation.
In 1281, the now 25 year old Gertrude, experienced the first of many visions she would have throughout her life. She would view these visions as the moment of her new birth, as they would go onto changing her life, her priorities and studies.
Where she first focused on secular teachings, she would instead study Scripture and Theology. Becoming an enthusiastic student, who’s writings would go on to spiritually benefit and inspire others.
Gertrude would go on to become known as one of the great Mystics and Theologians of the 13th century. Through her devotion as a Benedictine Nun, Gertrude was able to develop a deep relationship with the Lord through prayer.
Practicing nuptial mysticism, Gertrude viewed herself as being a bride of Christ, and was joined with Christ when she passed away on November 16th, 1301.
The St. Gertrude Prayer
It was through Gertrude’s prayers that the Lord communicated with her. He promised her that every time her prayer is said devoutly, he would ease the suffering of 1000 souls, and release them from purgatory, welcoming them into heaven.
Though those in purgatory can do nothing for themselves, they can and do, pray for those that pray for them.
There are many references in scripture, concerning prayers for the dead. One of the more well known references comes from the Old Testament.
“It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.” (2 Maccabees 12:43-46)
The Prayer Of St. Gertrude
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the masses said throughout the world today, for all the holy souls in purgatory*, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, those in my own home and within my family. Amen.
*The original prayer was only intended for those that had died and were already in purgatory. It was later changed to include sinners that are still alive in the hope of helping them to avoid purgatory altogether.
When To Use St. Gertrude’s Prayer
Traditionally, November is an especially important month to pray for the dead. You should be offering the prayer at church, you may offer the prayer over a grave, or it could be included in the mass service on All Souls’ Day, November 2nd.
It could also be included as part of the celebrations of St. Gertrude’s feast day, November 16th.
The prayer may be recited once to release 1000 souls or multiple times for many more souls.
Marian Rosary Beads and 50,000 Souls
If you would like to help free as many souls as possible, you can use the Marian Rosary of 59 beads to perform the Chaplet of St. Gertrude .
If you do not own a Marian Rosary, or would like to get a new one for yourself or as a gift for a loved one. You can find an example here.
How To Pray the Chaplet Of St. Gertrude
The following process is a popular prayer cycle that is used while in prayer for St. Gertrude and the souls in purgatory.
Use the following Prayers where indicated.
Step 1) starting at the cross:
Step 2) starting on the large bead or metal pendant:
1 x Our Father
1 x The Prayer Of St. Gertrude (listed above) once per bead x 10
Step 3) after the Prayer Of St. Gertrude on the 10th bead. Before touching the next large bead/metal pendant, recite the following:
“Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, open the hearts and minds of sinners to the truth and light of God, the Father”
“Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for the conversion of sinners and the world”
1 x Glory Be
Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you reach the end of the Rosary.