Saint Gemma Galgani


Saint Gemma Galgani

Saint Gemma Galgani was born at Camigliano in Tuscany, Italy, in 1878.

Her mother died when she was seven years old, and from that time on her life was one of continuous suffering.

Her afflictions were caused by ill-health, by the poverty into which her family fell, by the scoffing of those who took offense at her practices of devotion, and finally, by the physical attacks of the devil.

Through it all, however, she remained at peace and enjoyed constant communion with our Lord, who spoke to her as if He were bodily present.

She earnestly desired to be a Passionist nun, but was not accepted because of her physical infirmities.

She was the subject of various extraordinary supernatural phenomena — visions, ecstasies, revelations, supernatural knowledge, conversations with her visible Guardian Angel, prophecy and miracles.

Her director verified that letters which she wrote and committed to the care of her good Angel were infallibly delivered.

Saint Gemma had periodically occurring stigmata between 1899 and 1901.

At one time during her sufferings, she was asked: If Jesus gave you the choice between two alternatives, either going immediately to heaven and having your sufferings disappear, or else remaining here in suffering to procure still more glory for the Lord, which would you choose?

She answered: I prefer to remain here rather than going to heaven, when it is a question of suffering for Jesus and His glory.

She died on Holy Saturday in 1903 and was canonized in 1940.

(SOURCE: Lives of the Saints for Every Day of the Year (Reprint of the work of John Gilmary Shea, with Appendix including recently canonized Saints, Benziger Brothers: New York, 1955. Third Edition, Tan Books and Publishers: Rockford, 1995); Sainte Gemma Galgani, by Sr. Jesualde du St. Esprit, O.C.D. (Apostolate of the Press: Sherbrooke, 1949), p. 296)


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