One Million Souls

>> Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Last year, my oldest daughter Catherine chose to make it her Lenten project to release one thousand souls each day from Purgatory by praying the prayer of St. Gertrude. The prayer can also be said for the benefit of the living sinners.

About St. Gertrude:

We don’t know who her parents were or what became of them, and she may been an orphan. Gertrude was raised in the Benedictine abbey of Saint Mary of Helfta, Eisleben, Saxony from age five. An extremely bright and dedicated student, she excelled in literature and philosophy, and when she was old enough, became a Benedictine nun. At age 26, when she had become too enamored of philosophy, she received a vision of Christ who reproached her; from then on she studied the Bible and the works of the Church Fathers. Gertrude received other visions and mystical instruction, which formed the basis of her writings. She helped spread devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Her writings have been greatly praised by Saint Teresa and Saint Francis de Sales, and continue in print today.

Excerpt courtesy of SQPN.

**St. Gertrude's writings are available for purchase on our bookshelf.

My friend Jennifer pointed out that one could release a million souls during the Lenten season by praying 33 times each day, and 34 on the last day. In order to help keep track of the prayers, Jennifer suggested a string of prayer beads made specially for the devotion. Catherine designed a string that can hand by a belt loop to keep them handy throughout the day. I have also devised one that is similar to a string of sacrifice beads, so that if you don't have time to say all of the prayers at once, you can keep track of how many you've said throughout the day.

You can make your own string quite simply by stringing 34 beads (choosing a unique bead for the first or last - this one is only prayed on the last day) onto a piece of waxed linen cord, with or without knots in between. Add a cross, crucifix, or St. Gertrude medal to one end, if you wish.

Below is Catherine's string, made from wood and carnelian beads with a small cross, an acrylic charm that she handpainted, and a bull-ring closure to keep them on her belt loop.

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."


Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle 4:11 PM  

I love this! Thank you for sharing it. God bless Catherine!



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