Rome, Italy, Oct 6, 2010 / 04:27 am
On Wednesday morning Pope Benedict focused his weekly address on the extraordinary life of a 13th-century German woman and saint, St. Gertrude the Great. From her life, the Holy Father said that modern Christians can see that true happiness still springs from a friendship with Christ.
More than 15,000 faithful and pilgrims joined Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter's Square for Wednesday's general audience. Among the crowd were candidates for the diaconate from the Pontifical North American College, accompanied by hundreds of family members and friends.
Continuing his series of catecheses on 13th-century monastic saints, the Holy Father chose to recount the life of St. Gertrude the Great, the only German woman honored with the title of "'Great,' for her cultural and evangelical stature." He observed that it was "with her life and her thought that she left her mark in a singular way on Christian spirituality."
He called her "an exceptional woman, endowed with particular natural talents and extraordinary gifts of grace, of very profound humility, ardent zeal for the salvation of neighbor, of intimate communion with God in contemplation and readiness to aid the needy."