We commemorate each of our sisters’ death anniversaries with special prayer intentions for that sister. Today, we remember and honor our foundress, Mother Gertrude Leupi. Her courage lead her to follow Bishop Martin Marty’s invitation to service. Leaving the Swiss Alps of Maria Rickenbach convent for the windswept plains of the Dakota Territory. She was the first prioress of Sacred Heart Convent and led our early sisters from 1880-1891.
As foundress of our community, Mother Gertrude Leupi, had a great love for solitude and prayer. She came to America in 1880 at the age of 55 with 21 years’ experience as Prioress. “An Abbess who is worthy to be over a monastery should always remember what she is called, and live up to the name of Superior. For she is believed to hold the place of Christ in the monastery, being called by a name of His, which is taken from the words of the Apostle: “You have received a Spirit of adoption …, by virtue of which we cry, ‘Abba — Father’”! Therefore the Abbess ought not to teach or ordain or command anything which is against the Lord’s precepts; on the contrary, her commands and her teaching should be a leaven of divine justice kneaded into the minds of her disciples” (Rule of Benedict 2).
Mother Gertrude was also foundress of two other communities. In all her years of being Benedictine, she always shared true concern for the spiritual and physical needs of her sisters. On March 26, 1904 at the age of 80, the Lord called her home, rewarding her for all her efforts to spread His message of spirituality.
Eternal rest grant unto to her O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her.
May she rest in peace. May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed,
through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.
The inscription upon her grave in Marianheim, Switzerland reads:
Mother Gertrude Leupi was born on March 1, 1825. She professed her Benedictine vows on March 21, 1848 and lived 25 years at the convent of Maria Rickenbach in the Swiss Alps. She then served in North America for 12 years as a foundress and superior of new Benedictine convents. She then returned to Switzerland, founded the Marienburg convent and later died March 27 (26), 1904.
Blessings to you,
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