Saint Gemma Galgani
Feast of Saint Gemma Galgani - April 11
Gemma Galgani was born on March 12, 1878, in a small Italian town near Lucca. At a very young age, Gemma developed a love for prayer.
As a pupil at the school run by the Sisters of St. Zita, Gemma was loved by her teachers and her fellow pupils. Although a good student, she had to quit school due to chronic ill health before completing the course of study.
Gemma had an immense love for the poor, and helped them in any way she could. After her father's death, the nineteen year old Gemma became the mother of her seven brothers and sisters.
Throughout her life, Gemma was to be favored with many mystical experiences and special graces. These were often misunderstood by others, causing ridicule. Gemma suffered these heartaches in reparation, remembering that
Gemma wished to become a nun, but her poor health prevented her from being accepted. She offered this disappointment to God as a sacrifice.
Today, Gemma's mortal remains are still treasured at the Passionist monastery in Lucca. Gemma Galgani feast day is on April 11thThrough the help of her confessor, Gemma went to live with a family named Giannini, where she was allowed more freedom than at home for her spiritual life.
In January of 1903, Gemma was diagnosed as having tuberculosis. She died quietly in the company of the parish priest, on April 11 at age twenty-five. He said, "She died with a smile which remained upon her lips, so that I could not convince myself that she was really dead." She was beatified in 1933 and canonized on May 2, 1940, only thirty-seven years after her death.