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The Herald of God's Loving Kindness: Book 4

Gertrud the Great of Helfta; Translated, with an introduction and notes, by Alexandra Barratt

Gertrud the Great (1256-1302) entered the monastery of Helfta in eastern Germany as a child oblate. At the age of twenty-five she underwent a conversion that led to a series of visionary experiences. These centered on "the divine loving-kindness," which she perceived as expressed through and symbolized by Christ's divine Heart. Some of these experiences she recorded in Latin "with her own hand," in what became book 2 of The Herald of God's Loving-Kindness.Books 1, 3, 4, and 5 were written down by another nun, a close confidant of the saint, now often known as "Sister N." Book 4 records Gertrud's many vivid spiritual experiences, which took place on various liturgical feasts when she was too sick to take part in the community's worship. Foregrounding visions of the court of heaven and dialogues with Christ, the Virgin Mary, and other saints, they further develop devotional themes already present in the earlier books. Often profoundly indebted to the liturgy of Mass and office, they have been carefully arranged according to the ecclesiastical year by the medieval compiler.Alexandra Barratt is professor emeritus at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. She studied at the Universities of Cambridge and Toronto and has published extensively on religious writing by medieval women in Latin and English. She has previously translated Books One and Two (CF035) and Book Three (CF063) of The Herald for the Cistercian Fathers series.

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The Herald of God's Loving-KindnessBooks 1 and 2

Gertrud the Great of Helfta; Translated, with an Introduction, by Alexandra Barratt

Placed in the monastery of Helfa, in Upper Saxony, at the age of five, Gertrud began having visions and writing at twenty-five. Book 1, written by a nun of Helfta, reveals the personality and virtues of Gertrud. Avoiding hagiographical commonplaces, the writer reveals both the strengths and the shortcomings of her very human and very committed heroine. Book 2, contains Gertrud's own account of her spiritual experiences.

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The Herald of God's Loving-KindnessBook 3

Gertrud the Great of Helfta; Translated, with an Introduction, by Alexandra Barratt

Placed in the monastery of Helfta, in Upper Saxony, at the age of five, Gertrud began having visions and writing at twenty-five. The first two Books of The Herald were written by her own hand; Book Three, compiled twenty years later by another member of the community, 'expounds something of the favors lavished on or revealed to her'. It provides insights into the life and spirituality of this 'most literate of all medieval women visionaries.'

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Spiritual Exercises

Gertrud the Great of Helfta; Translated, with an Introduction, by Gertrud Jaron Lewis and Jack Lewis

The most scholarly of the remarkable nuns of Helfta composed these meditations, rituals, prayers, instructions on how to pray, chants, hymns, and litanies in the late thirteenth century. Her mastery of poetic prose attests to the level of women's education in the highly cultured abbey she entered as a child of five and never, so far as we know, left even once.

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The Herald of God's Loving-KindnessBook 3

Gertrud the Great of Helfta; Translated, with an Introduction, by Alexandra Barratt

Placed in the monastery of Helfa, in Upper Saxony, at the age of five, Gertrud began having visions and writing at twenty-five. The first two Books of The Herald were written by her own hand; Book Three, compiled twenty years later by another member of the community, 'expounds something of the favors lavished on or revealed to her'. It provides insights into the life and spirituality of this 'most literate of all medieval women visionaries.'

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