St. Gemma Galgani
Author and Publisher - Catholic Online
St. Gemma Galgani, also known as the Flower of Lucca, was an Italian mystic often referred to as the "Daughter of Passion," for her intense replication of the Passion of Christ. She was born on March 12, 1878, in a small Italian town near Lucca.
At a very young age, Gemma developed a love for prayer. She made her First Communion on June 17, 1887. Gemma was loved by her teachers and her fellow students, as a student at a school run by the Sisters of St. Zita. Though quiet and reserved, she always had a smile for everyone. Unfortunately, Gemma had to quit school due to her chronic ill health before completing the course of study.
Throughout her life, Gemma was to be chosen with many mystical experiences and special graces. These were often misunderstood by others, causing ridicule. Gemma suffered heartaches in reparation, remembering that Our Lord Himself had been misunderstood and ridiculed.
Gemma had an immense love for the poor and helped them in any way she could. After her father's death, the 19-year-old Gemma became the mother-figure for her seven brothers and sisters. When some of her siblings became old enough to share the responsibility, Gemma went to live briefly with a married aunt.
At this time, two young men proposed marriage to her. However, Gemma refused because she wanted silence, retirement, and more than ever, she desired to pray and speak only to God.
Gemma returned home and almost immediately became very ill with meningitis. Throughout this illness, her one regret was the trouble she caused her relatives who took care of her. Feeling herself tempted by the devil, Gemma prayed for help to the Venerable Passionist, Gabriel Possenti. Through his intercession, Gemma was miraculously cured.
Gemma wished to become a nun, but her poor health prevented her from being accepted. She offered this disappointment to God as a sacrifice.
Gemma predicted that the Passionists would establish a monastery at Lucca; this came to pass two years after her death. Today, Gemma's relics remain at the Passionist monastery in Lucca.
On June 8, 1899, Gemma had an internal warning that some unusual grace was to be granted to her. She felt pain and blood coming from her hands, feet and heart. These were the marks of the stigmata. Each Thursday evening, Gemma would fall into rapture and the marks would appear.
Such marks, called the stigmata in the language of the Catholic Church, refers to the appearance of the wounds of the crucified Jesus Christ appearing on the bodies of some men and women whose lives are so conformed to His that they reflect those wounds of redemptive love for others.
The stigmata remained until Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. When the bleeding would stop, the wounds would close, and only white marks would remain in place of the deep gashes. Gemma's stigmata would continue to appear until her confessor, Reverend Germanus Ruoppolo, advised her to pray for their disappearance due to her declining health. Through her prayers, the phenomenon ceased, but the white marks remained on her skin until her death.
Through the help of her confessor, Gemma went off to live with another family where she was allowed more freedom for her spiritual life than she was at home. She was frequently found in a state of ecstasy and on one occasion she was believed to have levitated. Her words spoken during her ecstasies, were recorded by her confessor and a relative from her adoptive family.
At the end of her ecstasies, she returned to normal and carried on quietly and serenely. Gemma often saw her guardian angel. She sent her guardian angel on errands, usually to deliver a letter or oral message to her confessor in Rome.
During the apostolic investigations into her life, all witnesses testified that there was no artfulness in Gemma's manner. Most of her severe penances and sacrifices were hidden from most who knew her.
In January of 1903, Gemma was diagnosed with tuberculosis. At the start of Holy Week in 1903, Gemma began suffering greatly. She died at age 25 on Holy Saturday, April 11.. The Parish Priest in her company said, "She died with a smile which remained upon her lips, so that I could not convince myself that she was really dead."
St. Gemma Galgani was beatified on May 14, 1933 by Pope Pius XI and canonized on May 2, 1940, only 37 years after her death, by Pope Pius XII. She is the patron saint against temptations, against the death of parents, against tuberculosis, of students and of pharmacists. Her feast day is celebrated on April 11.
Saint Feast Days by Month
St. Mary Magdalene is one of the greatest saints of the Bible and a legendary example of God's mercy and grace. The precise dates of her birth and death are unknown, but we do know she was present ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
St. Abigail, more commonly known as St. Gobnait or Deborah, was a medieval Irish saint born around the 6th century in County Clare, Ireland. According to tradition, Abigail's family was always feuding. This caused her to run away from home to settle on Inis Oirr in ... continue readingMore Female Saints
Saint Michael the Archangel isn't a saint, but rather he is an angel, and the leader of all angels and of the army of God. This is what the title "Archangel" means, that he is above all the others in rank. St. Michael has four main responsibilities or offices, as we ... continue reading
St. Gabriel is an angel who serves as a messenger for God to certain people. He is one of the three archangels. Gabriel is mentioned in both the Old and the New Testaments of the Bible. First, in the Old Testament, Gabriel appears to the prophet Daniel to explain his ... continue reading
Bishop and prophet, called "the Elder" or "the Bald." Also known as Elphege, he was the bishop of Winchester, England. There he ordained St. Dunstan. A holy prophet, Alphege is credited with helping to restore monasticism to England. continue reading
Alvarez was born in either Lisbon, Portugal, or Cordova, Spain. He entered the Dominican convent at Cordova in 1368. He became known for his preaching prowess in Spain and Italy, was confessor and adviser of Queen Catherine, John of Gaunt's daughter, and tutor of King ... continue reading
San Enrique II fue un rey aleman y emperador del Sacro Imperio Romano Germanico entre el ano 1014 y 1024; asimismo ha sido el unico emperador declarado santo por la Iglesia Catolica. REDACCION CENTRAL (ACI Prensa) - Es nieto de Carlomagno, y el ultimo del linaje del ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes
More Christian Saints & Heroes
by Catholic Online
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, July 24th, 2018 HD Video
- Daily Readings for Sunday, July 22, 2018
- Bleating Hearts
- Day 7 - Novena to Joachim and Anne for Christian Married Couples HD Video
- Lider musulman reconoce que sin cristianos no puede haber un Medio ...
- St. Mary Magdalene: Saint of the Day for Sunday, July 22, 2018
- Pro Life decision: New Arizona law awards custody of frozen embryos
- Daily Reading for Monday, July 23rd, 2018 HD
- Day 6 - Novena to Joachim and Anne for Christian Married Couples HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Friday, July 20th, 2018 HD
- A miracle in Iowa as tornadoes take several towns by surprise - but no fatalities HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way
Teacher lesson plans & resources
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education