11 April: St. Gemma Galgani

In the 2005 Martyrologium Romanum we find this entry today:

11. Lucae in Italia, sanctae Gemmae Galgani, virginis, quae, dominicae Passionis contemplatione et doloribus patienter toleratis insignis, viginti quinque annos nata, angelicam vitam die Sabbati Sancti consummavit.

Among her other earthly sufferings, Gemma bore the grace of the stigmata.

Before a saint is canonized a miracle worked through her intercession must be authenticated.

Gemma herself received the miraculous intervention of another interesting young saint, whose particular skill saved his village from terrorists.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Allan S. says:

    Was it St. Gabriel Possenti, the patron Saint of handgunners? :) Quite the story there… I ask because he was a young Passionist seminarian when he dies, and I believe St. Gemma was also somehow related to the Passionist Order.

    Unfortunately, that Order is no longer what it once was, now very much a modernists, ecologist stronghold. Not all, of course, as Catholic Lisa reminds us. But…too many.

  2. From the English translation of the 1962 edition of The Roman Martyrology, edited by Canon J.B. O’Connell:

    “At Lucca in Tuscany, St Gemma Galgani, Virgin, remarkable for her contemplation of the Lord’s Passion and for sanctity of life. She was canonized by Pope Pius XII.”

  3. marylise says:

    It was indeed St. Gabriel Possenti (1838-1862), also known as St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows or St. Gabriel of the Sorrows, to whom St. Gemma Galgani (1878-1903) was devoted. St. Gemma suffered from tuberculosis of the spine, and believed herself to be instantaneously cured of this disease after a vision of St. Gabriel Possenti. At one time in her short life, St. Gemma experienced what appeared to be true diabolical possession. During crisis moments, she would spit at the crucifix and break her confessor’s rosary. Obviously this would be an example of possession in which the victim is entirely innocent, i.e., the result of pure divine permission.

  4. Nan says:

    Note also that there’s a movement to get St. Gabriel named as the patron saint of gunslingers.

  5. Acanthaster says:

    Praise the Lord! St. Gemma Galgani…Beautiful.

    At the Newman Center I used to work at, we had first class relics of St. Gemma Galgani and St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin. I first learned more about her from a friend who had a devotion to her because St. Gemma talked often with her Guardian Angel(the friend’s birthday was on the feast of guardian angels). I thought that was pretty cool, but didn’t look into it much more at that point.

    A few weeks later on a trip to Chicago, I stopped at the Shrine of Our Lady of Sorrows and was extremely moved by this title of Mary. I started, while there, to be more devoted to Our Lady of Sorrows. Upon returning home, I started reading a little more about St. Gemma and found out that her feast day is the April 11th(my birthday), and that she had a devotion to St. Gabriel, who had a devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows! So many connections.

    The friend and I learned a lot about the faith together, and prayed often together. Feast of St. Gemma and Feast of the Guardian angels forming a spiritual friendship I had never experienced before…pretty awesome. :) The Lord is so Good! St. Gemma, St. Gabriel…pray for us!

  6. AvantiBev says:

    Here is a link to the p.c. version of St. Gabriel Possenti written by a Fr. McNamara who no doubt will be at the bill signing on all those tougher background checks that our Chi town gang bangers will immeditely obey:
    As someone passionate about the rightful reunification of my grandparents’ homeland, I was happy to see that Possenti’s heroic defense only opposed the looting, out of control soldiers – and northerners to boot.

  7. Lucas Whittaker says:

    She is a beautiful soul whose prayers do much for others who might be called to bear the burden of chronic suffering: She has a unique way of teaching (when one has some devotion to her) a person how to accompany the Master into suffering without shrinking back from the face of it.

  8. Bill Foley says:

    There is a website–stgemmagalgani.com–which contains everything that one would want to know about this saint–even her autobiography.

  9. Greek Fire says:

    St. Gemma Galgani is the patron saint of back-pain sufferers. I learned a great deal about her when I suffered a herniated disk, and I am grateful for her intercession…

    Sancta Gemma Galgani, ora pro nobis!

  10. backtothefuture says:

    I’m very blessed to have a first class relic of hers. We owe a great thanksgiving to victim souls like her, who offered their lives up for the conversion of sinners like us.

  11. Andrew says:

    I always like it how St Gemma Galgani communicated with her spiritual director, via her guardian angel!

    She was stunningly beautiful, as well.

  12. Eugene says:

    thank you for posting Greek Fire, I didn’t know she was the patron saint of back pain sufferers, I have been suffering with chronic pain for 14 years starting with herniated discs and then by having a near fatal accident (falling off my roof) and shattering my vertebrae and coming close to full paralysis, so thank God today I only suffer from back pain, BUT now I will intsruct myself on the life of this saint ( from my homeland nonetheless) and ask for her intercession to support it as try (NOT ALWAYS MIND YOU AS I WALLOW IN SELF PITY A LOT) to offer to God in reparation for my sin, the conversion of sinners and end to abortion…we are so BLESSED to be part of this faith!!

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