Memorial: April 11
St. Gemma Galgani was born at Camigliano near Lucca, Italy on March 12, 1878. At twenty years of age, St. Gemma was attacked by tuberculosis of the spine. This disease was declared by the doctors to be hopelessly incurable. After countless novenas to St. 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 experiences–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 St. Gemma. Help us to imitate her virtues during our earthly life and enjoy eternal happiness with her in heaven. Amen.
Hoever, Hugo H. Lives of the Saints: For Every Day of the Year: In Accord with the Norms and Principles of the New Roman Calendar. New York: Catholic Book Pub., 1989. Print.