Wednesday, April 16, 2014

St. Genna Galgani

Happy Feast of St. Gemma Galgani!

Due to my mistake with technology, this is 5 days late and....well....that is just where we are.  Perhaps, my technical deficiency is showing.  So I am fixing the (unsaved) issues and posting without comment.  Gemma speaks for herself, she's pretty amazing!  I hope you enjoy her story as much as I do.

St. Gemma was born in Italy in 1878 to poor parents.  She developed a strong love of prayer at a young age.  Although she was a good student and was loved, she was forced to leave school at a young age due to chronic illnesses.  (I loved reading that she had a smile for everyone at school, I try to instill this in myself and my children.  You never know who just needs to see a smile that day.)  She received many special graces throughout her life, which were often misunderstood, causing her much ridicule.  She, naturally, gave it up to the Lord, because he had been ridiculed much during his life.  Gemma's father died when she was 19, leaving her as the parent of her 7 younger brothers and sisters.  She accepted this with all of the grace with which she accepted everything.  Once there were some siblings who came of age and could share in this duty on, she went to spend some time in silence and prayer.  She was proposed to several times, but refused wanting to speak only to God and to spend time with Him in prayer.  Upon returning home, she became very ill with meningitis.  Her regret during this time being the burden she was placing on those taking care of her.  She felt tempted by the devil, so she went to the Vererable Passionist Gabriel Possenti in prayer.  Through his intercession Gemma was miraculously cured.

She greatly desired to become a nun, but her health would not allow for this to happen.  She offered this disappointment to God as a sacrifice.  On June 8, 1899, she had a warning that an unusual grace would be given to her.  This occurred with a stigmata (she would fall into rapture and her hands and feet and would feel pain from which blood would emit).  This would last from Thursday to Friday or Saturday weekly.  Upon its disappearance white marks would appear.  This lasted until near the end of her life.

Another remarkable grace she was given was her guardian angel.  I know, we all have them, but she could see and talk to hers, often sending him on errands to deliver messages to her confessor.

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