SOCIETY / The Novena to Santa Gertrudis has already begun in the Monastery of San Clemente in Seville

The Novena to Santa Gertrudis has already begun in the Monastery of San Clemente in Seville

Until November 23, the novena to the Cistercian Saint Gertrude de Helfta, also known as La Magna, takes place at the Royal Monastery of San Clemente. This Cistercian nun lived in Germany in the second half of the 13th century and it was three centuries later when, after the publication of some of her writings, her name gained strength and her spirituality was so valued that her works were reprinted numerous times, later being venerated. , canonized and proposed for a doctor of the Church. Her name is linked to that of Santa Matilde, with whom she met in the monastery and served as her spiritual guide.


Santa Gertrudis was a great mystic whose path was followed by, among others, Santa Teresa and Santa Catalina, precursor and promoter of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the cult of Saint Joseph. Although most of her works have been lost, her Revelations and a prayer book have been preserved as spiritual exercises for nuns that was published in the 16th century by a Cologne Carthusian.

The eve of the festival of Santa Gertrudis, which is celebrated on November 16, marks the beginning of its ninth every year, which ends precisely on November 23, the day of San Clemente. These are nights in which the old neighborhood of Los Humeros recovers an activity that has lost the rest of the year. In addition to the devotees, there are many former residents who return to the place where they were born or spent their childhood, with the desire to recover their identity and feel united to a devotion that is part of the most intimate secrets of the city.


The Cistercian nuns of the Royal Monastery of San Clemente are, without a doubt, the oldest residents of Seville. Since Fernandino times, the site that occupies the old palace of the Vib Arragel, has been inhabited uninterruptedly by nuns who are the successors of those who arrived from Córdoba in their day, in close relationship with the abbey of Las Huelgas Reales in Burgos. Even a daughter of the Holy King professed as a choir nun at San Clemente.

The month of November, a month in which the city can be enjoyed with more intimacy by moving away from clichés, offers the possibility of going to the Monastery of San Clemente for nine nights and finding a place of meditation and prayer, sheltered by the lilting songs. of the Cistercian liturgy.

The festival of San Clemente is a landmark date in the history of Seville. The entrance of the Christian hosts coincided with it after the long siege of the city by the armies of San Fernando.

The entrance through the so-called Puerta de Goles, now Puerta Real, is commemorated every year in the cathedral with the so-called procession through the last ships. The dean receives the municipal council at the gate of Los Palos and the procession begins in which the mayor carries the sword of San Fernando, the dean the Virgin of Battles and the youngest councilor the banner of the city. At dusk, the Monastery of San Clemente opens its doors and allows you to attend a solemn Eucharist followed by a cloister procession that is, without a doubt, one of the most intimate moments of the Sevillian year.

The nuns have a complete catalog of artisan sweets, including a highly celebrated almond cake called “Corazón de Santa Gertrudis”.

Photos Antonio Rendon

SOCIETY / The Novena to Santa Gertrudis has already begun in the Monastery of San Clemente in Seville