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Lutgardis was born in 1182 at Tangares in the Netherlands. At the age of twelve she was placed in the Benedictine convent of St. Catherine near Saint-Trond. Originally she felt no inclination whatsoever toward the religious life, but one day she had a vision of Christ that changed her outlook. At the age of twenty, Lutgardis entered the Benedictines. For more than a decade she experienced ecstacies during which she had visions of our Lord and our Blessed Mother. Lutgardis later went to a Cistercian convent at Aywieres, where she spent the final thirty years of her life and became reknowned as a mystic with the gifts of healing and prophesy. She died on June 16, 1246, having suffered blindness the last eleven years of her life. Although not all are called to the degree of mystical union that St. Lutgardis experienced, nonetheless, God's invitation to intimate union is universal. Our openness to God working in our lives, no matter who we are, is the first step down the road of perfect union with Him.
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