St. Gemma, often called “the Gem of Christ,” was born on March twelfth, 1878, near Lucca, Italy.
In her twentieth year, a young man asked for Gemma’s hand. She, knowing that her family would not honor her desire to live for Jesus alone, turned to God and asked for His help. She then fell ill, developing a serious spinal disease that the doctors said was incurable. But, through the intercession of St. Gabriel of the Mother of Sorrows, she was healed.
For a period of time, Gemma received the stigmata every Thursday, and by Friday evening or Saturday morning, it would disappear as miraculously as it had come. However, due to lack of health, Gemma’s confessor told her to ask God to cease these occurrences. She prayed to God, and the miraculous events ceased.
She often communicated with her guardian angel and was especially devoted to Jesus in the Eucharist and to the Passion of Christ. Gemma tried to join the Passionist order but was rejected. She prophesied that the order would not have her in life, but in death. To this day the Passiont Sisters in Lucca possess Gemma’s relics.
Gemma died on April eleventh, 1903, her last words being: “Now it is indeed true that nothing more remains to me, Jesus. I recommend my poor soul to Thee… Jesus!”
She is the patron of those struggling with temptations, loss of parents, and those suffering from tuberculosis, as well as students and pharmacists. God, help us to be pure and modest like St. Gemma. Help us to know, love, and serve You as she did, that we may obtain eternal joy through You in Heaven.
– St. Gemma Galgani, pray for us!
- Illustrated Lives of the Saints
- The Life of St. Gemma Galgani