spiritual prayer bouquets
“Our Lady, Queen of the Clergy” praesidium at St. Eugene’s Church in Chepachet, Rhode Island dedicated the month of January to collect “spiritual prayer bouquets” from Legion members, church members, youth groups, co-workers, cross country relatives, and even those they evangelized on the streets of Providence, to release souls languishing in Purgatory. Prepaid postcards with a copy of the prayer affixed were given out. At the end of the month the prayerful participant entered the total number of prayers made and returned the card in the mail. Father Stephen Dandeneau also graciously provided for Legion members and others, the Exposition of the Holy Eucharist and Benediction for an hour in St. Eugene’s Church. Each legionary (or attendee) recited the prayer 10 times aloud while the remainder prayed silently. This continued until the hour was up. Collectively, over 2,000 prayers were recited.
The prayer of choice, of course, was the Prayer of St. Gertrude. “St. Gertrude the Great” was a Benedictine nun, mystic and theologian. She was devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and in 1281, at the age of 25, she experienced the first of a series of visions that continued throughout her life and affected the course of her life. She moved away from secular knowledge and toward the study of Scripture and theology. She devoted herself to personal prayer and meditation and began writing spiritual treatises for the benefit of her monastic sisters. Pope Benedict XIV gave her the title “the Great” to distinguish her from Abbess Gertrude of Hackeborn and to recognize the depth of her spiritual and theological insight.
It is said she showed “tender sympathy towards the souls in purgatory” and urged prayers be said for them. In a vision to Gertrude, Jesus confided that He longs for the faithful on earth to plead for mercy for the suffering souls. Purgatory is a consequence of sin and sin does require justice but God desires to be merciful. Thus she is invoked for suffering souls in purgatory. The prayer below is attached to St. Gertrude and is the prayer recited by all who contributed to the prayer drive:
The Legion’s goal was to pray that 5 million souls to be saved in the month of January. That would have been 5,000 prayers offered up on their behalf. The final count was made at last week’s meeting held on February 4, 2020. The grand total was over 10,000 prayers or over 10 million SOULS !