Saint Gemma Galgani
AKA: Flower of Lucca
Maria Gemma Umberta Pia Galgani
Virgin of Lucca
Born: March 12, 1878 in Camigliano, Capanori, Italy of Tuberculosis
Relics interred in the Passionist Monastery, Lucca
Died: April 11, 1903 in Lucca, Italy
Venerated: Roman Catholic Church
Beatified: May 14, 1933 by Pope Pius XI
Canonized: May 2, 1940 by Pope Pius XII
Her canonization faced stiff opposition by those who either disbelieved or wished to avoid attention to her visions and stigmata
Recognition celebrated at Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome, Italy
Feast Day: April 11
Patronages: Against Temptations
Against the Death of Parents
Representation: Guardian Angel
Lilies and Roses
Saint Gemma Galgani was born at Camigliano near Lucca, Italy, on March 12, 1878. At twenty years of age, Saint Gemma was attacked by tuberculosis of the spine. This disease was declared by the doctors to be hopelessly incurable. After countless novenas to Saint Gabriel, she was completely cured on the first Friday of March 1899.
At this time, apparently free from her recent illness, she sought to fulfill her lifelong wish of pursuing her religious vocation with the Passionist nuns, but her application, as previously, was rejected.
From 1899 on, this quiet and unexcitable girl who was endowed with a remarkably fervent religious disposition underwent many extraordinary religious experience - all of which were carefully investigated by her confessor and spiritual director, Father Germano. The marks of Christ's crucifixion (stigmata) appeared intermittently for over eighteen months on her hands and feet, and she had ecstasies and visions.
In 1902, she was again stricken with an illness which was thought to be tuberculosis and she fell asleep in the Lord in 1903. The fame of her sanctity spread rapidly all over the world. She was beatified by Pius XI on March 14, 1933 and canonized by Pius XII on Ascension Day, 1940.
Prayer: God, You showered heavenly gifts on Saint Gemma. Help us to imitate her virtues during our earthly life and enjoy eternal happiness with her in heaven. Amen.
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