St. Gertrude the Great, a German Benedictine and mystic, was born in 1256 at Thuringia, Rome. As a youth, she enrolled with the Benedictine monastery of St. Mary, under Gertrude of Hackeborn. Earnestly studying philosophy and theology, she later began to pursue perfection in the religious life, and also beheld a vision of Christ, Who permitted her to hear the beating of His heart. Her surviving works of literature include Life and Revelations and Spiritual Exercises. St. Gertrude died around the seventeenth of November, 1302.