November 19th - St. Mechtild of Hackeborn



November 19th - St. Mechtild of Hackeborn

Mechtild, also known as Mechtildis was apparently of noble birth. since she was
born at the castle of Helfta near Eisleben, Germany about the year 1240. At the
age of seven she visited her older sister, Gertrude of Hackeborn (not to be
confused with St. Gertrude the Great whom we met on the 14th) at the Monastery
of Rodarsdorf. Mechtild obtained her parents consent to attend the cloister
school at her sister's monastery, another common practice of the royalty of the
middle ages.

Mechtild continued on at the monastery after her schooling. She was described as
a very gifted and amiable young woman, charming, intelligent and with the voice
of a songbird. In 1258 Gertrude moved the monastery to Helfta and Mechtild
joined her and was appointed choir-mistress as well as being in charge of the
cloister school. It was in this position that St. Gertrude the Great (Nov. 14th)
came under her care.

Mechtild had also been experiencing a very intimate mystical union with Christ
in her prayer. It wasn't until she was about fifty that she discovered that St.
Gertrude had been writing down all that Mechtild had told her of her
experiences. Mechtild was very upset about this, but was reassured by the Lord
and later edited these writings which have come to be known as the "Book of
Special Grace", also known as the, "Revelations of St. Mechtildis."

This book follows the Liturgical Year, and is Christocentric and Trinitarian.
It's special emphasis is on the Heart of Christ, as is St. Gertrude's writings.
One can see the soundness of Mechtild's theological education as well as the
joyfulness of her spirit. She died on November 19, 1298 at the age of 58.

Mechtild like Gertrude the Great have never been formally canonized by the
Church. But, Mechtild's feast is permitted to be celebrated in numerous
Benedictine Houses throughout the world. There are some who say she is the model
for Dante's "Donna Matelda" in the "Purgatorio" songs 27 and 28. Her writings,
like those of her student St. Gertrude have been a great source of nourishment
for those immersed in contemplative prayer.

Saint Quote:
All that we give through charity to the Souls in Purgatory is changed into grace
for us, and after our death we will find the merit of it increased a
hundredfold.
-St. Ambrose

Bible Quote
Another parable he proposed unto them, saying: The kingdom of heaven is like to
a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field. Which is the
least indeed of all seeds; but when it is grown up, it is greater than all
herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come, and dwell in the
branches thereof. (Matthew 13:31-32)


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Memorial Tablet of the Suffering Souls in PURGATORY

V. God Almighty, Father of Goodness and Love,
have mercy on the poor suffering souls, and grant your aid:

To my dear parents and ancestors,

My Jesus, mercy. (To be repeated after each petition)

To my brothers and sisters and other near relatives,
To my benefactors, spiritual and temporal,
To my former friends and subjects,
To all for whom love or duty bids me to pray,
To those who have suffered disadvantage or harm through me,
To those who have offended me,
To all those who are especially beloved by you,
To those whose release is at hand,
To these who desire most to be united with you,
To those who endure the greatest suffering
To those whose release is most remote,
To those who are least remembered,
To those who are. most deserving on account of their services to the Church,
To the rich, who now are the most destitute,
To the mighty, who now are as lowly servants,
To the blind, who now see their folly,
To the frivolous, who spent their time in idleness,
To the poor, who did not seek the treasure of heaven,
To the tepid, who devoted little time to prayer,
To the indolent, who were negligent in performing good works,
To those of little faith, who neglected the frequent reception of the
Sacraments,
To the habitual sinners, who owe their salvation to a miracle of grace,
To parents who failed to watch over their children,
To superiors who were not solicitous for the salvation of these entrusted to
them,
To the worldly-minded, who failed to use their wealth and talents in the service
of God,
To those who witnessed the death of others, but would not think of their own,
To those who did not provide for the great journey beyond, and the days of
tribulation,
To those whose judgment is so severe because of the great things entrusted to
them.
To the popes, kings, and princes,
To the bishops and their counselors,
To my teachers and spiritual advisers,
To the deceased priests of this diocese,
To all the priests and religious of the whole Catholic Church,
To the defenders of the Holy Faith,
To those who died on the battlefield,
To those who are buried in the sea,
To those who died of apoplexy.
To those who died without the last rites of the Church,
To those who shall die within the next twenty-four hours,
To my own poor soul when I shall have to appear before your judgment seat,

V. O Lord, grant to all souls of the faithful departed eternal rest,
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. May they rest in peace.
R. Amen.



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