FEast: Nov. 19th
singers, songwriters, visionaries,
Mechtilde nearly died right after she was born and was rushed to a church to be baptized, where a priest predicted that not only would she live, but become a special person to God. She left home when she was about 7 years old to join her older sister in a convent. She was educated there in the knowledge and culture-filled environment, and succeeded especially well at singing. She also was known to be friendly, hard-working, and easy to talk to. As she grew older, she was appointed the choir director and was given a young girl to take care of who would later become St. Gertrude the Great.
When Mechtilde was 50, her life that had been blessed and flourishing came to a sudden standstill. She realized that Gertrude and another sister to whom she had confided in her ideas, teachings, visions, and miracles, had written down all these stories in a book about her and were going to distribute it. Mechtilde was not only betrayed, but unsure that she wanted something like that to be published in the first place. This caused a spiritual crisis for her like none before. Finally, after a very long period of prayer, she believed that God approved of the book and wanted it to be out in the world. She approved of it and even edited it herself. It came to be known as "The Book of Special Grace". The book includes many of Mechtilde's inspired theological ideas, such as a continuation of her contemporaries' depiction of God as mother rather than father.
She passed away and was likely buried at the convent in Helfta. She is also thought to be the inspiration for a character in one of Dante's books.
Poets, writers, and musicians all have wonderful gifts to show us the beauty and glory of God and his creation, just like you did. They can inspire, soothe, disquiet, or prompt us to ask questions, as well. Guide these artists as they change us and the world with their words.
This was another icon modeled after a roommate of mine. This roommate was extremely gifted at music, as well as eloquent, and an honest, grounded, and easy person to be around. She has the kindest soul, as I believe Mechtilde had, and her perspective is truly a gift to the world.