A Proof of Love

Gertrude’s love for the crucifix was tender and most heartfelt. As her piety could not bear to see Jesus suspended from hard iron nails, she one day replaced these with sweet-smelling cloves.

The reward for this act of piety surpassed anything that could possibly be imagined. One Friday she spent the whole night in prayers and ardent affections of the heart. Then, recalling the fact of the nails being replaced by cloves, she asked the Lord if this act had been pleasing to Him.

“Yes,” Jesus replied. “This proof of love was so pleasing to Me that I poured the precious balsam of My divinity onto the wounds of your sins.”

“Will You grant this same grace to all who honour You in this way? the Saint wondered.

“Not to all,” replied the Lord, “but only to those who do so with the same love that moved you. However, the reward will still be great for souls whose devotion and fervour do not match yours.”

Then taking the crucifix, the Saint kissed it tenderly. But feeling her strength failing as a result of her prolonged vigil, she laid down the crucifix and said: “I take my leave of You, my Beloved, and I wish You good night. Let me sleep now to regain the strength that has been spent in this sweet colloquy.”

And she turned to take her rest. But during her repose, Jesus detached His right arm from the cross and clasped the Saint about the neck as if to give her a kiss of love. Bringing His sacred mouth close to the Saint’s ear, He whispered sweetly to her: “Listen, my beloved; I will sing for you a canticle of love.”

With a sweet and gentle voice, Jesus chanted the following verse:

“My love is continuous, thy yearning assiduous; thine affection mellifluous is to Me most precious.” […]

At length, the Saint fell asleep. […] When she awoke, she found that she had been marvellously strengthened by her rest.

FERREIRA, P. B. Alves.
The Life of St. Gertrude.
Braga: [s.n.], 1932, p.106-107



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