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Healing and Protection for our Furry Friends

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The Divine Harmony Pet Shrine is an altar at Divine Harmony Spiritual Church that is devoted to calling upon Saint Gertrude, the patron saint of cats, Saint Rocco, the patron saint of dogs, and Julian of Norwich, to watch over, protect, and heal our animal friends or animal lovers who are facing difficulties.

Saint Gertrude was born in Nivelles (a city in modern-day Belgium) in 626 into a family of wealthy nobles. Her father, Pepin I, was mayor of the palace of Austrasia under the Frankish kings Clotaire II, Dagobert I, and Sigebert III. Her mother, Itta, was believed to be the daughter of the bishop of Metz. When Gertrude was 10 years old, Pepin hosted a banquet for King Dagobert, during which the king asked Gertrude to marry the son of a duke. She refused him, stating she would neither marry him nor any man, but would take Christ alone as her bridegroom. Later, she used the property her mother willed to her to build churches, monasteries, and hospices. Nivelles became well-known for its welcome of pilgrims, both lay and religious. Gertrude is associated with cats as she used them as mouse hunters, and her veneration as protector against rats and mice rose in the early 15th century during the Black Plague and spread from Southwestern Germany to the Netherlands and Catalonia. Saint Gertrude is also said to protect & bless cat lovers who may be facing difficulties.

Aiding Gertrude in feline endeavors is Mother Julian of Norwich, who in the 14th century dedicated herself to a life of solitude and prayer, with her only companion being her beloved cat. In 1373, aged 30, Julian fell seriously ill and was thought to be on her deathbed. Julian received a series of visions or shewings of the Passion of Christ. She recovered from her illness and wrote two versions of her experiences, the earlier one being completed soon after her recovery — a much longer version, today known as the Long Text, was written many years later. In the 1390s, Julian was permanently sealed into a room and lived in seclusion as an anchoress in what is today St Julian's Church in Norwich. Her only companion was a cat who would enter and exit via a window. The cat was apparently a true and faithful friend as Julian has been depicted with the cat throughout history.

Saint Roch (or Rocco) was born in 1295 and even his birth was an accounted miracle - his mother had been barren for years until she prayed to the Virgin Mary. Upon the death of his parents, despite the fact that his father had designated him governor of Montpellier, Rocco renounced his title and donated all his worldly possessions to the poor, deciding instead to devote his life to the betterment of others. He joined the Franciscan Third Order and began a pilgrimage towards Rome. Upon entering Italy, he encountered an area afflicted with plague. He stayed there to minister to the sick, and affected several miraculous cures usually by making the sign of the cross over them, but eventually contracted the plague himself. He walked into a forest to die, but was befriended by a dog. The dog fed him with food stolen from his master’s table and licked his wounds, healing them. After this, Roch had a particular affinity for dogs.

Reverend Saint Germain will personalize the appeal to Saint Gertrude, Saint Rocco, and Saint Julian to meet your specific needs, and select the elements which will best serve your unique situation. This work may involve a mixture of ceremonial rootwork, candle vigils, sacred relics, animal totems, and prayer to petition Saint Gertrude to lend her divine influence to your cause. Depending on the type of ceremony, prayers may last 3 to 5 days. You will receive pictures of the work along with Reverend Saint Germain's observations and interpretations of any omens or signs that were seen during the ceremony.