Caieiras, Brazil (Thursday, 02-03-2015, Gaudium Press) The Founder and President of the Heralds of the Gospel, Msgr. João Scognamiglio Clá Dias, EP, has endorsed the initiative of the Cistercian Order and the Benedictine Congregation of Solesmes to have Saint Gertrude be declared a Doctor of the Catholic Church.
The full text of the letter sent by the Founder of the Heralds to His Holiness Pope Francis follows:
It is with joy and satisfaction that I would like to endorse the zealous initiative promoted by the Cistercian Order and the Benedictine Congregation of Solesmes to request from you that Saint Gertrude of Helfta be declared a Doctor of the Catholic Church.
It is really worthy of attention to note that St. Gertrude, in a short life of 45 years, was the author of theological writings that are worthy of praise due to the originality, universality and contemporaneousness that they continue to have to this day. Her works give the Holy Church a doctrine of great spiritual elevation, marked and guaranteed at the same time by the testimony of a life of evident sanctity.
At the present moment that the Church and the world are experiencing – where the necessity of the appearance of examples that cause enthusiasm due to the glow of wisdom and the joy of a holy life that all are seeking without knowing of it – the propagation of the figure and thought of a cultured religious woman of great intelligence, who was able to enjoy living on this earth with her eyes directed to Heaven, could turn out to be an extraordinary reference point for so many who, in the midst of the disordered clashes of present-day thinking still desire to hold on to the cornerstone of Christian thought and happiness.
St. Gertrude is also a specific reference point for consecrated souls, for those who are experiencing the temptations of mediocrity, of abandonment of the first Love, of the weakening or loss of the religious ideals. Being herself a consecrated person, she confesses her own conversion when she was 26 years old, having already gone through so many years of religious life, and gives testimony of the new direction that her cloistered life took, thanks to divine intervention. She understood then how the Sequela Christi, that previously seemed unendurable to her, became “an easy and light yoke”. She was the object of a special mission due to the mystical revelations that preannounced the apostles of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, such as St. John Eudes and Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque.
Our Lord Himself declared to her: “I desire that your writings be an incontestable testimony of my divine love, for the last times.” Therefore, the doctrines that Our Lord confided to her will be the mark, the keystone for men of an historical epoch who will need to know more than ever the nature of Divine Love.
This marvelous thought was expressed by Saint Gertrude in her work: “Legatus divinae pietatis”, divided into five books, and in the “Excertitia”, profound meditations on the most transcendental moments of Christian and monastic life.
As the Founder and General President of the Heralds of the Gospel, I feel that this great Saint whom Christ Himself called the “Herald of Divine Love,” is also ours. Her theological writings are in fact a proclamation of this Love, they have the backing of various doctors in the Church, and they continue to become known not only in Europe but also in our Latin America. I believe that the proclamation by Your Holiness of Saint Gertrude of Helfta as a Doctor of the Church will contribute greatly to give larger prominence to the figure of this “strong woman,” that will help so many consecrated souls in the restoring of the first Love, and so many who thirst for Happiness and Truth to drink in the spring of the thought, experiences and virtues propagated by this great Master.
Reverently kissing the Fisherman’s Ring, I implore your paternal blessing on all the family of the Heralds of the Gospel.
In Iesu et Maria
Msgr. João Scognamiglio Clá Dias, EP
General President of the Heralds of the Gospel.