Monthly Spirit
March 2009
St. Gertrude

St Gertrude © Aris Dervis 2009

© Aris Dervis 2009

St. Gertrude of Nivelles
March 17


Patroness of cats, gardeners and travelers; invoked against mice

This seventh-century nun is still invoked against rodents in her native Belgium- water from her well and cakes baked in her convent are said to repel vermin- and she is traditionally pictured holding a pastoral staff up which a pair of mice scamper.  She was famous for her hospitality to strangers (Belgians call a drink for the road “Saint Gertrude’s cup”) and some believe that the souls of the departed spend the first night of their afterlife in her tender care.  Her power over rodents accounts- one supposes- for her traditional patronage of cats.

(From Saints Preserve Us! by Sean Kelly and Rosemary Rogers, now enjoying its 16th year in print!)

St. Gertrude is available as a print, t-shirt, candle or greeting card.

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