Gertrude van der Oosten

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Statue of Gertrude van der Oosten in Delft

Gertrude van der Oosten (or Gertrude of Delft) was born in Voorburcht in the County of Holland, whose location is unclear, and died at Delft, 6 January 1358. She was a Dutch Beguine and was considered a mystic, who had received the Stigmata.


Gertrude was born of peasant parents, and entered into domestic service at Delft. Her surname of van Ooten, or "of the East", came from her custom of singing a hymn which began: Het daghet in den Oosten, i.e., "Daylight breaks in the East", which she is thought to have composed herself.

After living a pious life for many years, Gertrude obtained admission into the beguinage in Delft. Here, though not a nun, or bound by religious vows, she profited by the ample opportunities for contemplation afforded by life in this community. She had great devotion to the mysteries of the Incarnation, especially to the Passion of Christ. She is believed to have received the Stigmata. She begged God that this grace might be withdrawn, and her prayer was granted to the degree that the blood ceased to flow, but the marks of the Stigmata remained. At the same time she displayed the gift of prophecy.

Gertrude died on the feast day of the Epiphany and was buried in the Church of St. Hippolytus in Delft, as that beguinage did not have its own church or cemetery. Her name has never been inscribed in the Roman Martyrology, though she is commemorated in various others, and her cultus is a purely local one.


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Ven. Gertrude van der Oosten" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton.