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Mechtilde, see GERTRUDE OF HACKEBORN; GERTRUDE THE GREAT, SAINT.) There is another honour, inferior certainly to that of sanctity, yet great in itself and worthy of mention here: the homage of a transcendent genius was to be laid at the feet of St. Critics have long been perplexed as to one of the characters introduced by Dante in his "Purgatorio" under the name of Matelda.After ascending seven terraces of a mountain, on each of which the process of purification is carried on, Dante, in Canto xxvii, hears a voice singing: "Venite, benedicti patris mei"; then later, in Canto xxviii, there appears to him on the opposite bank of the mysterious stream a lady, solitary, beautiful, and gracious.She is no Amazon who, at Dante's prayer that she may draw nearer to let him understand her song, turns towards him "not otherwise than a virgin that droppeth her modest eyes". These are precisely the writers whose doctrines had been most assimilated by the mystics of Helfta, and thus they would the more appeal to the sympathies of the poet.
This sale, which included the copyright, established the painter both financially, and artistically.When the saint understood that the book would tend to God's glory, she ceased to be troubled, and even corrected the manuscript herself.Immediately after her death it was made public, and copies were rapidly multiplied, owing chiefly to the widespread influence of the Friars Preachers. Mechtilde most probably still reposes at Old Helfta thought the exact spot is unknown.Here, being highly gifted in mind as well as in body, she made remarkable progress in virtue and learning.Ten years later (1258) she followed her sister, who, now abbess, had transferred the monastery to an estate at Helfta given her by her brothers Louis and Albert.
Mechtilde was fully equipped for her task when, in 1261, God committed to her prudent care a child of five who was destined to shed lustre upon the monastery of Helfta.