Daily Martyrology for November 16

Around 1300, at the monastery of Helfta in Saxony, Saints Gertrude the Great and Mechtild of Hackeborn. Both women were educated from early childhood at the monastery and joined it when they were old enough. Mechtild was in charge of the children in the monastery school, one of whom was St. Gertrude, and she was later Gertrude’s novice mistress. Gertrude had a profound religious experience when she was twenty-five, and from that time on devoted herself to reading the Bible and the Fathers, and immersing herself in the liturgy. The influence of her reading and liturgical life is evident in her Revelations and Spiritual Exercises. Mechtild’s religious experiences and teaching are contained in The Book of Special Grace. Their spirituality emphasized the love of Christ, symbolized by his Sacred Heart.

In 759, in Switzerland, St. Otmar. He introduced the Rule of St. Benedict to the Abbey of St. Gall. He was imprisoned by warring nobles and died in exile.
In 1240, at Abingdon, St. Edmund Rich, bishop. He studied at Oxford and Paris, and then became a professor in the arts faculty at Oxford. In 1222 he became canon and treasurer of Salisbury cathedral, where he also taught. He developed close ties with the Cistercians of Stanley Abbey, where one of his pupils, Stephen of Lexington, was abbot. He preached the Sixth Crusade in 1227. In 1233 he was appointed archbishop of Canterbury, where he proved to be a warm, peacemaking champion of justice. In spite of that, he had tense relations with King Henry III and the monks of Christ Church, Canterbury. He died in France while on the way to a council in Rome and was buried at the Cistercian abbey of Pontigny. He wrote biblical commentaries and devotional works, the most read of which has been the Speculum ecclesiae, a summary of the teachings of Hugh of St. Victor on the spiritual life.

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Our daily martyrology was written by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB. Copyright © 2008 by the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID 83338.