Saint Gertrude of Nivelles (626 – March 17, 659) was abbess of the Benedictine monastery of Nivelles, in present-day Belgium.
She was a daughter of Pepin I of Landen and Saint Itta, and a younger sister of Saint Begga, Abbess of Andenne, Saint Bavo and Grimoald I.
One day, when she was about ten years of age, her father invited Dagobert I and some noblemen to a banquet. When on this occasion she was asked to marry the son of the Duke of Austrasia she indignantly replied that she would marry neither him nor any other man, but that Jesus Christ alone would be her bridegroom.
After the death of her father in 640, her mother Itta, following the advice of Saint Amand, Bishop of Maestricht, erected a double monastery at Nivelles. She appointed her daughter Gertrude as its first abbess, while she herself lived there as a nun, assisting the young abbess by her advice. Among the numerous pilgrims that visited the monastery of Nivelles, there were the two brothers St. Foillan and St. Ultan, both of whom were Irish monks who had lived c.633-651 in East Anglia, and were now on their way from Rome to Peronne[disambiguation needed], where their brother St. Furseus, lay buried. Gertrude and her mother gave them a tract of land called Fosse on which they built a monastery. Ultan was made superior of the new house, while Follian remained at Nivelles, instructing the monks and nuns in Holy Scripture, and was later murdered there by bandits.
After the death of Itta in 652, Gertrude entrusted the interior management of her monastery to a few pious nuns, and appointed some capable monks to attend to the outer affairs, in order that she might gain more time for the study of Holy Scripture, which she almost knew by heart. The large property left by her mother she used for building churches, monasteries and hospices. At the age of thirty-two she became so weak through her continuous abstinence from food and sleep that she found it necessary to resign her office. After taking the advice of her monks and nuns, she appointed her niece, Wulfetrude, as her successor, in December, 658. A day before her death she sent one of the monks to St. Ultan at Fosse to ask whether God had made known to him the hour of her death. The saint answered that she would die the following day during Holy Mass. The prophecy was verified.
Wikipedia provides a helpful summary of the life of St. Patrick as well as St. Patrick's famous prayer:
I bind to myself today The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity: I believe the Trinity in the Unity The Creator of the Universe.
I bind to myself today The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism, The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial, The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension, The virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day.
I bind to myself today The virtue of the love of seraphim, In the obedience of angels, In the hope of resurrection unto reward, In prayers of Patriarchs, In predictions of Prophets, In preaching of Apostles, In faith of Confessors, In purity of holy Virgins, In deeds of righteous men.
I bind to myself today The power of Heaven, The light of the sun, The brightness of the moon, The splendour of fire, The flashing of lightning, The swiftness of wind, The depth of sea, The stability of earth, The compactness of rocks.
I bind to myself today God's Power to guide me, God's Might to uphold me, God's Wisdom to teach me, God's Eye to watch over me, God's Ear to hear me, God's Word to give me speech, God's Hand to guide me, God's Way to lie before me, God's Shield to shelter me, God's Host to secure me, Against the snares of demons, Against the seductions of vices,
Librovox has a free downloadable audiobook that contains the collected works of St. Patrick.