The 13th century Benedictine nun, St Gertrude was afforded the most extraordinary visions from the time she was 25. The finest fruits of her mysticism grew from Gertrude's immersion in her role as Christ's bride and her total gift of her heart, mind and souls to loving Him. Most people in love have a particular love for the face of their beloved, and such was Gertrude's love for Christ's Face that He rewarded her white-hot ardor with truths that are as real for you and me as they were in the Gertrude's day.

Once she was shown Our Lord tied to a pillar where He was trapped by two executioners. One executioner pierced His Face with thorns, and the other lacerated Him with a multi-thong whip. When she saw this torture had so mutilated Our Lord, Gertrude was in most painful grief. Gertrude observed Our Lord give one of His cheeks to be wounded, and then He turned His other cheek, but each time He turned his Face He was attacked all the more viciously by the other executioner. Gertrude was inspired to ask Our Lord, "Tell me, O Lord, the remedy that can soothe the sufferings of Thy Divine Face." Christ revealed to her, "If anyone meditates upon my sufferings with tenderness and compassion, his heart will be to Me as a soothing balm for these wounds."

Many were the times when Our Lord showed His Face to Gertrude - and after she witnessed that His Face was as radiantly brilliant as the sun - she had the pluck to ask Him why His Face was as dazzling as the sun. Her Spouse told her, "Like the sun, My Countenance illuminates, warms..."

There came a juncture in her mystical life when Gertrude moved beyond seeking divine intimacy with Our Lord for herself and she asked of Our Lord something for the souls of her contemporaries and for all the souls who might come after her. Gertrude asked for Jesus for a singular grace for souls who would devote themselves to the Holy Face. Our Lord obliged, "All those who meditate frequently on the vision of My Divine Face, attracted by the desires of love, shall receive within them, through My Humanity, a bright ray of My Divinity, which shall enlighten their inmost souls so that they shall reflect the light of My Countenance in a special manner throughout eternity."

If you and I meditate on Our Lord's wounds with empathy and love, our hearts will be to Him "a soothing balm" and His Face will illuminate and warm us. But a gift even more personal is that in the practice of meditating often on His Divine Face, we shall receive in our souls "a bright ray" of His Divinity which will be a reflection of His dazzling-like-the-sun Face and which shall be ours throughout eternity. That our souls may reflect the light of His Face is part of the same promise given Sr Mary Of St Peter that we who honor the Holy Face will have His Image imprinted on our souls. To combine the promise given Gertrude and that given Sr Mary of St Peter means a portrait of the Holy Face and a bright ray of light from Christ's Face may beautify our souls.

St Gertrude was Christ's messenger, and she lived over 500 years before Sr Mary of St Peter, yet in the distinct revelations on the Holy Face, Gertrude was the forerunner to Sr Mary of St Peter. And while it was Sr Mary of St Peter who was treated to the full range of promises that reward a soul who is devoted to the Holy Face, Gertrude prepared the Catholic world to receive the revelations given Sr Mary of St Peter because the two sets of revelations build on the other. All that considered, Gertrude was expert on the writings of St Augustine who was the most eloquent devotee of the Holy Face in the early Church. There is a golden thread from Augustine to Gertrude to Sr Mary of St Peter and to you and me.

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You may like to read more on the diverse revelations given St Gertrude - the same Saint who I wrote about in my piece on my quest to help the Holy Souls - The Life and Revelations of St Gertrude the Great is a very valuable resource on her.