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About St. Gemma Galgani


1878 — 1903
Feast Day April 11
Patron Saint of students, pharmacists, loss of parents, those suffering back injury or back pain, those suffering with headaches/migraines, those struggling with temptations to impurity and those seeking purity of heart.

Gemma Galgani was an extraordinary young Italian woman who had intense mystical experiences and a great love for the Passion of Jesus. She was known as the Flower of Lucca and often referred to as the "Daughter of Passion" for her intense replication of the Passion of Christ. Her experiences were heavily documented through letters, an autobiography and many witnesses.

Gemma was the eldest daughter of a poor pharmacist. Her mother died when Gemma was 8 and her father died when she was 18 so she assumed the care of her seven brothers and sisters. She was cured in her 20’s of spinal meningitis by prayers to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, and Saint Marguerite Marie Alacoque. Gemma wished to become a nun, but her poor health prevented her from being accepted.

Gemma saw her guardian angel daily, and had visits from Jesus, Mary, Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, as well as the devil who tempted and tortured her physically and mentally.

On June 8, 1899, Gemma had an internal warning that some unusual grace was to be granted to her. She felt pain and blood coming from her hands, feet and heart — the marks of the stigmata. Each Thursday evening, Gemma would fall into rapture and the marks would appear.

The stigmata remained until Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. When the bleeding would stop, the wounds would close, and only white marks would remain in place of the deep gashes. Gemma's stigmata would continue to appear until her confessor advised her to pray for their disappearance due to her declining health. Through her prayers, the phenomenon ceased, but the white marks remained on her skin until her death.

In January of 1903, Gemma was diagnosed with tuberculosis. At the start of Holy Week in 1903, Gemma began suffering greatly. She died at age 25 on Holy Saturday, April 11. Today, Gemma's relics remain at the Passionist monastery in Lucca.