Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Saint Gemma Galgani, Pray for us!
Today is the 103rd anniversary of the death of Saint Gemma Galgani. She was born in Camigliano, Italy on March 12th, 1878, the fifth child, and first girl, of eight children. Her mother died when she was still quite young and her father died when she was just 19.
She received special permission to make her First Holy Communion at the then early age of 9, on the Feast of the Sacred Heart.
She developed curvature of the spine, and meningitis, which left her deaf. She lost her hair and became paralyzed. While ill, she read a biography of Saint Gabriel Possenti and became devoted to his Passionist spirituality. She had a vision at midnight on February 23rd, 1899, where St. Gabriel appeared to her and asked her to pray a novena to the Sacred Heart for a cure for her illness. When the novena ended on the first Friday in March, she was cured.
She had a fervent prayer life, went to Mass and vespers daily and had regular conversations with her guardian angel. She later received the stigmata (the marks of the 5 wounds of Christ.)
She was cannonized on May 2nd, 1940.
Anyone who knows me personally, will realize there are a few, eerie coincidences between my life and hers. She is my patron saint.