St. Gertrude the Great

Saint Gertrude the Great (1256-1302) is the patron saint of nuns, the West Indies, and Naples, Italy. She was an extremely bright and determined student who became completely engrossed in philosophy around age 26. It was then that Saint Gertrude the Great began to receive visions of Christ, who spoke to her, chastising her for not leaving room for God in her academic work. This caused her to widen her studies, focusing on the bible and the works of Church Fathers. These studies, along with continued visions and messages, became the basis of her work. St. Gertude had a lasting impact at an age where academic and religious literature was largely dominated by men. As a Benedictine nun, she helped spread devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and her work is still in circulation today. Saint Gertrude the Great's feast day is November 16th.