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Saint Gemma Galgani
The Life Of St.Gemma Galgani ^ | October 20,2001 | Venerable Fr.Germanus,C.P.&Tan Publ

Posted on 07/18/2002 4:55:40 PM PDT by Lady In Blue


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"The beauty I beheld transcendeth measure
Not only past or reach, but surely I believe
That only He who made it enjoyeth it complete."

--Dante (Paradise, c. XXX, 19-21)

Prayer Life
Guardian Angel
Heroic Death
St. Gemma Home Page
Get a free St. Gemma Holy Card
Footnotes / Credits
Local Bishop's Approval

Book on St. Gemma

TOPICS: General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: catholiclist; guardianangel; stigmata
Use the English flag to get into site to read about St.Gemma's life.
1 posted on 07/18/2002 4:55:41 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: *Catholic_list; father_elijah; nickcarraway; Salvation; Siobhan; Polycarp; JMJ333
2 posted on 07/18/2002 4:57:14 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: Lady In Blue
She has such a pretty face. Sweet and innocent. =)
3 posted on 07/18/2002 5:53:44 PM PDT by JMJ333
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To: JMJ333
Yes,she did but most importantly,she had a beautiful soul! I remember reading a book on her many years ago and I loved the relationship she had with her guardian angel. One minute they're the best of friends and then another,they're fussing,at Gemma was,at each other.I thought parts of it was funny.I wish I could remember the name of that book.
4 posted on 07/18/2002 7:19:07 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: Lady In Blue
Exactly. Its as if the beauty of her soul is reflected in her face. It shines through!
5 posted on 07/18/2002 7:27:43 PM PDT by JMJ333
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To: Lady In Blue

The Birth of St. Gemma Galgani

After Confirmation
Gemma with her mother
after receiving Confirmation.


Gemma Galgani was born on March 12th, 1878 in Camigliano, a village near Lucca, Italy. Gemma is the Italian word for gem. Her father was a prosperous chemist and a descendant of Blessed John Leonardi. Gemma’s mother was of noble lineage also. The Galgani’s were Traditional Catholics who were blessed with eight children.

Gemma, the fourth child and first girl of the family developed an irresistible attraction to prayer while still very young. This came as a result of her pious mother who taught Gemma the truths of the Roman Catholic Faith. Mother Galgani especially infused into her precious daughter’s soul a love for Christ Crucified.

With zeal the young saint applied herself to devotion. When Gemma was only five years old she read the Office of Our Lady and the Office of the Dead from the Breviary as easily and quickly as a grown person.

When Gemma’s mother would have to busy herself with her daily duties as a housewife, the tiny Gemma would pull at her mother’s skirt and say, “Mamma, tell me a little more about Jesus.”

Unfortunately, Gemma’s mother was soon to pass away. On the day when Gemma received the Sacrament of Confirmation, while ardently praying at Mass for her mother’s recovery (as Senora Galgani was gravely ill) she heard an unmistakable voice in her heart say, “Wilt thou give Me Mamma?"

“Yes," Gemma answered, "but provided Thou takest me also.”

“No," replied the voice, "give Me unreservedly thy mother. For the present thou hast to wait with thy father. I will take thee to Heaven later.”

Gemma simply replied, “Yes.”

This “yes” was to be repeated throughout St. Gemma’s brief life in response to Our Lord’s invitation to her to suffer for Him.

6 posted on 07/18/2002 9:01:50 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Lady In Blue

Her Virtuous Childhood

After Confirmation

Childhood Innocence

Following her beloved mother’s death, Gemma was sent by her father to a Catholic half-boarding school in Lucca run by the Sisters of St. Zita.

Gemma on reflecting on her school days later said, “I began to go to the school of the sisters; I was in Paradise.”

She excelled in French, arithmetic and music and in 1893 won the great Gold Prize for religious knowledge. One of her teachers at the school summed it up best by saying, “She (Gemma) was the soul of the school.”

Gemma had arduously been preparing for her first communion. She used to plead, “Give me Jesus … and you will see how good I shall be. I shall be quite changed. I won’t commit any more sin. Give Him to me. I so long for Him, and I cannot live without Him.”

Gemma was allowed at age nine (which was earlier then usual) to receive her first communion. With her father’s permission she went to the local convent for ten days to prepare worthily for this solemn event.

Gemma’s day finally arrived on June 20th, 1887 The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In her own words she described her intimate first meeting with Christ in the Blessed Sacrament as thus:

“It is impossible to explain what then passed between Jesus and me. He made Himself felt, oh so strongly, in my soul.”

The next major incident in St. Gemma’s life happened when her father died in 1897. As a result of his over generousness, unscrupulous business contacts, and creditors, his children were left without anything and had not even the means of supporting life. Gemma was just nineteen years old, but growing experienced in carrying the cross.

7 posted on 07/18/2002 9:03:05 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Lady In Blue

Miraculously Cured by St. Gabriel of the Sorrows

After Confirmation

Her Patron
St. Gabriel of the
Sorrowful Mother

Gemma soon began to grow ill. She developed a curvature of the spine. Also, meningitis set in and left her with temporarily loss of hearing. Large abscesses formed on her head, her hair fell off, and finally her limbs became paralyzed. A doctor was called in and tried many remedies which all failed. She only grew worse.

Gemma began a devotion to Venerable Gabriel Possenti of the Sorrowful Mother (Now St. Gabriel). On her sickbed she read his life story. She later wrote regarding Venerable Gabriel:

“… I grew in admiration of his virtues and his ways. My devotion to him increased. At night I did not sleep without having his picture under my pillow, and after that I began to see him near me. I don’t know how to explain this, but I felt his presence. At all times and in every action Brother Gabriel came to mind.”

Gemma, now 20 years old, was seemingly on her deathbed. A novena was suggested as the only chance for a cure. At midnight on February 23rd, 1899, she heard the rattling of a rosary and realized that Venerable Gabriel was appearing to her. He spoke to Gemma:

“Do you wish to recover? Pray with faith every evening to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I will come to you until the Novena is ended, and will pray together to this Most Sacred Heart.”

On the first Friday of March the Novena ended. The grace was granted; Gemma was cured. As she got up, those around her cried with joy. Yes, a miracle had taken place!

8 posted on 07/18/2002 9:04:24 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Lady In Blue

St. Gemma Receives the Stigmata


St. Gemma

St. Gemma Suffers
with Christ

Gemma, now in perfect health, had always desired to be a consecrated nun, but this was not to be. God had other plans for her.

On the 8th of June 1899, after receiving communion, Our Lord let His servant know that the same evening He would give her a very great grace.

Gemma went home and prayed. She went into ecstasy and felt a great remorse for sin. The Blessed Mother, whom St. Gemma was tremendously devoted, appeared to her and spoke:

“My son Jesus loves thee beyond measure and wishes to give thee a grace. I will be a mother to thee. Wilt thou be a true child?” The Most Blessed Virgin then opened her mantle and covered Gemma in it.

Here is how St. Gemma relates how she received the stigmata:

“At that moment Jesus appeared with all his wounds open, but from these wounds there no longer came forth blood, but flames of fire. In an instant these flames came to touch my hands, my feet and my heart. I felt as if I were dying, and should have fallen to the ground had not my mother held me up, while all the time I remained beneath her mantle. I had to remain several hours in that position. Finally she kissed my forehead, all vanished, and I found myself kneeling. But I still felt great pain in my hands, feet and heart. I rose to go to bed, and became aware that blood was flowing from those parts where I felt pain. I covered them as well as I could, and then helped by my Angel, I was able to go to bed …”

Several people, including respected ecclesiastics of the Church, witnessed this miracle of the stigmata, which reoccurred throughout most of her remaining life. One eyewitness stated:

“Blood came from her (St. Gemma’s) wounds in great abundance. When she was standing, it flowed to the ground, and when in bed it not only wet the sheets, but saturated the whole mattress. I measured some streams or pools of this blood, and they were from twenty to twenty-five inches long and about two inches wide.”

Like St. Francis of Assisi and recently Blessed Padre Pio, Gemma can too say: Nemo mihi molestus sit. Ego enim stigmata Domini Jesu in corpore meo porto: Let no man harm me, for I bear the marks of the Lord Jesus in my body.

9 posted on 07/18/2002 9:07:13 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Lady In Blue

Her Mystical Prayer Life

Venerable Fr. Germanus, C.P.

Gemma’s Spiritual Director Venerable Fr. Germanus, C.P.

At the age of 21 Gemma was taken in by a generous Italian family, the Giannini’s. The family already had eleven children but was glad to welcome this young and pious orphan into their home. The mother of the family Signora Cecilia Giannini would later say of Gemma, “I am able to declare on oath, that during the three years and eight months that Gemma was with us, I never knew of the least trouble arising in our family on her account, and I never noticed in her the least defect. I repeat, not the smallest trouble, not the smallest defect.”

St. Gemma diligently helped with the chores of the large household. She also had time to pray which was her favorite activity. Through Providence she acquired the holy Passionist spiritual director Father Germanus, C.P. (Now Venerable Germanus) whom she was totally obedient to.

Father Germanus, an eminent theologian in regard to mystical prayer, noted that Gemma had a most profound prayer life and resultant union with God. He was convinced that this “Gem of Christ” had passed through all the nine classic stages of the interior life.

Gemma attended Mass twice a day, while receiving communion once. She faithfully said her rosary, and in the evening, with Signora Giannini, went to vespers. In all of her spiritual exercises Gemma never once neglected her daily duty at the Giannini household.

10 posted on 07/18/2002 9:09:05 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Lady In Blue

St. Gemma’s Devotion
to her Guardian Angel

St. Gemma Reflecting

St. Gemma Galgani Reflecting

Gemma’s Guardian Angel would frequently appear to her. They would carry on a conversation the same way as if one were speaking to his best friend. Gemma’s purity and innocence must have drawn this Glorious Angel from Heaven to her side. Gemma and her Angel with his wings outstretched or kneeling beside her, would recite vocal prayers or Psalms alternately. When meditating on the Passion of Our Lord, her Angel would inspire her with the most sublime insights into this mystery. Her Guardian Angel once spoke to her regarding Christ’s Agonies:

“Look at what Jesus has suffered for man. Consider one by one these Wounds. It is Love that has opened them all. See how execrable (horrible) sin is, since to expiate it, so much pain and so much love have been necessary.”

11 posted on 07/18/2002 9:10:16 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Lady In Blue

St. Gemma’s Last Illness
and Heroic Death

St. Gemma's death bed

St. Gemma’s Deathbed

In 1902 Gemma in good health since her miraculous cure, offered herself to God as a victim for the salvation of souls. Jesus accepted her offer. She then fell dangerously ill. She could not keep any food down. Though briefly recovering her health, through Divine Providence, she quickly fell sick again. On September 21, 1902 she began to throw up pure blood that came with the violent loving throbbings of her heart. Meanwhile she went through a spiritual martyrdom as she experienced aridity and no consolation in her spiritual exercises. To add to that her enemy the devil multiplied his attacks on the young “Virgin of Lucca.”

Satan redoubled his war on Gemma as he knew the end was near. He strove to persuade her that she was entirely abandoned by God. He used hellish apparitions and even reigned physical blows on her fragile body.

An eyewitness who was nursing Gemma said:

“That abominable beast will be the end of our dear Gemma- deafening blows, forms of ferocious animals, etc.- I came away from her with tears because the demon is wearing her out.”

Gemma unceasingly called on the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, still the battle waged on. Her Spiritual Director Venerable Germanus regarding Gemma’s last struggle stated:

“The poor sufferer passed days, weeks and months in this way, giving us an example of heroic patience and motives for salutary fear of what may happen to us, who have not Gemma’s merits at the terrible hour of death.”

Yet through all these trials Gemma never complained, she only prayed. Gemma was at the end. She was practically a living skeleton but still beautiful despite the ravages of her sickness. She was administered Viaticum.

In her last words she said:

“I seek for nothing more; I have made the sacrifice of everything and of everyone to God; now I prepare to die.” She gasped, “Now it is indeed true that nothing more remains to me, Jesus. I recommend my poor soul to Thee … Jesus!"

Gemma then smiled a heavenly smile and letting her head drop on one side, ceased to live.

One of the sisters present at her death clothed Gemma’s body in the habit of the Passionists, which was the order to which Gemma had always aspired.

This blessed death happened on Holy Saturday April 11th, 1903 when Gemma Galgani was in her 25th year.

12 posted on 07/18/2002 9:12:08 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Lady In Blue

Raised to the Altar

God Exalts the Humble

God Exalts the Humble

The Church authorities began to study Gemma’s life in 1917 and she was beatified in 1933. The decree approving the miracles for canonization was read March 26th, 1939- Passion Sunday. Gemma Galgani was canonized on May 2nd, 1940, only thirty-seven years after her death. (1.)

There is a verse from Dante’s poem (Paradise, c. XXX, 19-21) in which supernatural beauty is admirably recalled and exalted. (2.) It also aptly fits the little Gem of Christ, true Beatrice, in whom the Lord was so pleased to adorn for His very own:

The beauty I beheld transcendeth measure
Not only past or reach, but surely I believe
That only He who made it enjoyeth it complete.

St. Gemma Pray For Us

13 posted on 07/18/2002 9:15:28 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: JMJ333
You're right!
14 posted on 07/18/2002 9:54:47 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: Salvation
Wouldn't her life make a great motion picture?!
15 posted on 07/18/2002 9:56:00 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: Salvation
Thank you,Salvation.
16 posted on 07/18/2002 9:56:39 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: Lady In Blue


17 posted on 04/11/2005 7:48:52 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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