St. Gertrude was orphaned at a very early age and was raised in the Cistercian Abbey, of Helfta, Eisleben, Saxany.
She was very intelligent and became very interested in philosophy, she could read and write Latin, but was reproached by Christ, in a vision, for seeking wisdom of the world.
From then on she studied the Bible and the works of the Church Fathers. Our Lord and Our Lady appeared to her many times, giving her revelations about Heaven and about how the Holy Family lived here on earth. They also gave her instructions on how to live a holy life. Her writings encouraged devotions to Our Lord and Our Lady, and her works were greatly praised by Saint Teresa and Saint Francis de Sales.