St. Gemma Galgani
FREE Catholic Classes
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.
St. Padre Pio
Find SaintsPopular Saints
Saints by Alphabet
Saint Feast Days by Month
Patron Saints by Alphabet
Saint Feast Days by Month
Archbishop of Canterbury England, who battled for discipline and justice, also called Edmund of Abingdon. Born in Abingdon, on November 30, 1180. he studied at Oxford, England, and in Paris, France. ... continue readingMore Saint of the Day
Yes, there is a St. Julia and here is her story: St. Julia was born of noble parents in South Africa. When she was still quite young, her city was conquered by barbarians. Julia was captured and sold as a slave to a pagan merchant, but she did not complain or feel ... 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
Saint John Gaulbert, Abbot - Feast day is July 12th The city of Florence gave to the world Saint John Gaulbert. Although he enjoyed the benefits of an early Christian education, his youthful heart was soon attracted to the vanities of the world. A painful incident was ... continue reading
St. John Joseph of the Cross was born about the middle of the seventeenth century in the beautiful island of Ischia, near Naples. From his childhood he was the model of virtue, and in his sixteenth year he entered the Franciscan Order of the Strictest Observance, or ... continue reading
San Alfredo fue rey de Wessex, uno de los siete reinos principales que precedieron al reino de Inglaterra. Se hizo celebre por defender su territorio contra los vikingos (normandos), por lo que fue llamado "El Grande" por su pueblo. REDACCIoN CENTRAL (ACI Prensa) - Su ... continue readingMore Christian Saints & Heroes
More Christian Saints & Heroes
by Catholic Online
- Daily Reading for Thursday, November 22nd, 2018 HD Video
- Cardinal DiNardo calls for 'reasonable' gun control after Chicago ...
- Daily Readings for Wednesday, November 21, 2018
- Prayer Requests Live for Tuesday, November 20th, 2018 HD Video
- NJ dioceses to form compensation program for child victims of ...
- St. Gelasius: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, November 21, 2018
- New Mexico legislators want to repeal state's abortion ban
- Prayer Requests Live for Monday, November 19th, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, November 21st, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, November 20th, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, November 19th, 2018 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