Saint Gemma Galgani

Discussion in 'The Saints' started by Sanctus, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. padraig

    padraig New Member

    She used, like Padre Pio to use her angel guardian as a messenger to deliver her letter. She was totally penniless and did not want to ask her hosts for dough for the post. This must have been especially hard on her as I think her family were quite well off at one point.

    So she gave her letters to deliver to her Spiritual Director who was himself a saint. I think from memory it was the Passionist priest and writer of her life Fr Germanus. (I think h may be 'Blessed' now?)

    Anyway his is the very best life I have ever read on the saint. He knew her far better than anyone.

  2. padraig

    padraig New Member

    The remarkable friendship between a saint and her Guardian Angel


    St. Gemma Galgani could see her Guardian Angel and developed a strong relationship with him.
    Everyone has a Guardian Angel, but not everyone is graced with a personal relationship with them. St. Gemma Galgani was one of those privileged souls who could see her Guardian Angel and talk with him on a regular basis.

    In a biography of St. Gemma written by her spiritual director, Ven. Germanus Ruoppolo, he relates a remarkable friendship she had with her Guardian Angel. Ruoppolo explains, “The visible presence of her Angel Guardian, with which Gemma was singularly favored by God, was for her one of the most natural experiences. Her Angel used to talk to her as ordinary mortals talk to their friends.”

    Read more:
    A visual guide to Guardian Angels: Here’s what you need to know
    Besides ordinary encounters throughout the day, Ruoppolo relates a special routine she had with her Guardian Angel at night and in the morning.

    At night, when lying down to rest, she begged of him to sign her on the forehead, and watch by her pillow; and being assured that he would, she immediately turned on the other side to sleep. What a blessed virginal repose, at which the Angels are visibly present! In the morning on awakening, when she saw her faithful Guardian still at his post, she paid little or no attention to him. Her anxiety was to fly to the Church and Holy Communion, of which she had been thinking all the night; for she slept very little: “I have what is so much better in my thoughts,” she used to say to him, “I am going to Jesus,” and left immediately. But if the Angel were taking leave of her she would reply charmingly: “Good-bye, dear Angel; offer my salutations to Jesus.”

    Her angel once said to her, “I shall be thy guide and inseparable companion. Do you not know who it is that gave me charge of thee? It is the merciful Jesus.”

    This unique friendship St. Gemma had with her Guardian Angel is a perfect reminder of how we should view our own Guardian Angel. God has appointed an Angel to walk with us, protect us and lead us to heaven. The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes a Guardian Angel as a “shepherd,” highlighting its role as a personal guide who watches over us and leads us to fresh pastures of repose.

    For St. Gemma, this meant her Guardian Angel would encourage her in the practice of virtue as well as reprove her when tempted to vice. She said, “My Angel is a little severe; but I am glad of it. During the past days he brought me to order as often as three or four times a day.”

    While we may not notice the activity of our own Guardian Angel as St. Gemma did, our Guardian Angel remains an invisible, but lively presence in our own lives. Only in heaven will we truly understand how much our Guardian Angel helped us and protected us throughout our entire lives.
  3. Sanctus

    Sanctus "Pray, pray ,pray!"

    Imagine, the devil tried to burn her autobiography. It is still in Rome with the burn marks. Thankfully the writings are still legible.
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  4. padraig

    padraig New Member

    I think actually the devil beat up on her more than once.

    Satans war against St Gemma and his attempts to sow division
    The devils war against St Gemma and his attempt to seperate her from her loved ones.

    Those who have read some of the life of Saint Gemma know of the frequent attacks of the devil upon the saint. With God’s permission, he launched countless attacks, both spiritual and physical, all in an effort to lead Gemma away from God, and her mission as victim soul for the salvation of souls. The word "Devil" literally means "Divider", and one of his goals is to sow division amongst all of humanity.

    However God, in His kindness and mercy, forwarned Gemma from the beginning of the devils attacks upon her saying:
    “You will be trampled underfoot by the devils. Prepare yourself, my daughter, the demon at My orders will be the one that will add the last touch to my plan that I will accomplish in you, that is, your sanctification." (v. Biography G. Bonardi, 178) Even more [Jesus said to her]: "With my permission the demons will try continually to dishearten your soul". (Letters of St Gemma, 285). And the demon will be relentless with St Gemma: “He has repeatedly set himself against me" she wrote to her Passionist spiritual director, Fr. Germanus (v. Letter 71) . And in her letter to Mons. Volpi in December of 1899 Jesus says: "See how everyone in the world treats Me today? I am very much displeased with those who offend Me." I begged Jesus to have patience, and to satisfy His wrath on me; to make me suffer much more, because I seemed to have the strength. Jesus then told me that the demon henceforth would have even more power to attack me. At this point He said: "To make you understand more clearly that you will be a daughter of the Passion, I will have you submit to his attacks." (Letter to Mons. Volpi, Dec 1899). And many of her other letters and numerous witnesses attest to the relentless campaign of the devil against her.

    Full of lies and deceit, he began in 1898 with temptations by trying to befriend her, telling her he would cure her if only she would do as he said. Through the grace of God she saw through his deception and rebuked him, which then caused him to change his tactics. He then tried to disguise himself in various forms, on one occasion in the confessional as her confessor, on another occasion as her Angel, and on a third occasion as Jesus Himself, to mention only a few. Jesus however soon taught her the means to distinguish heavenly apparitions from evil ones---at the first appearance of any vision she was to say “Blessed be Jesus and Mary”. If the vision repeated the salutation, she knew it was from God. If not, then she knew it was of demonic origin. At most the evil apparitions would say “Blessed be.” This rule of discernment given her by Jesus was to put and end to the devils masquerades. He then began open warfare.

    The devil (whom Gemma in her letters nicknamed “chiappino”, which in english is the equivelant of "theif") would appear to her in various hellish forms, in an effort to scare her and lead into despair. Often he appeared as a “small, very black, hairy man” who would beat her mercilessly, and he also appeared in this form once with serpent wrapped around his arm. At other times he appeared as a “large, black dog”. Again, other times he would appear as a “large black cat”- similar to a black panther. Father Germanus, Gemma's spiritual director, himself saw the devil in the form of a large black cat that ran into Gemma’s room, and jumped onto the foot of her bed on one occasion, not long before her death. Gemma, noticing his horror in response to the vision, said to him “Do not worry Father; he is here for me, not you.” Again other times he would try to attack her purity, by appearing in “a disgusting manner”, as she called it.

    Worn out from all the devils attacks, Gemma asked for exorcism not long before her death. Monsignor Volpi, who was her confessor since childhood, and was the auxiliary Bishop of Lucca--a very learned man in whom some churchmen of that time considered a saint, did not deem it necessary, but to placate and comfort Gemma a bit he decided to read some prayers (a simple exorcism?) After all, being her longtime confessor he knew that Gemma had always sought God with all her heart, and was in a state of grace, so surely he felt that an exorcism was not necessary, as her will was most certainly turned towards God, and not the devil. And by that time the attacks of the devil upon Gemma where nothing new to Monsignor Volpi, and he knew from experience how Gemma always triumphed over the attacks through prayer, and her love and trust in Jesus and the blessed Virgin. By then he knew that Gemma was posessed by God, and not the demons, and the only thing the devil could really do against her was to make her suffer---and this was something that the devil never seemed to tire in doing.

    The devils hellish campaign to villify Gemma and to separate her from her loved ones.

    As we can see, Gemma was made subject to the loathesome, atrocious and even brutal assaults of the demon. Moreover, by his hellish trickery the evil one sought in earnest to confuse the minds of her confessor, her spiritual director, her beloved "foster mom" Cecilia, and the rest of the Giannini family, so that all of her beloved friends would come to look upon her as a fraud and a hysteric. Sadly for Gemma, the evil, malignant campaign succeeded for awhile, in part, and Gemma suffered dearly because of it. We shall see the devils campaign to malign Gemma and sow division in the minds of her loved ones in the story of the letters below.

    The story begins with Gemma, having finished a letter to Father Germano one day, Gemma gave it to Cecelia to put at the shrine where the angel was accustomed to collect her letters for delivery. (For those unaware of these circumstances, Gemma would place her letters to her spiritual director in a little Child Jesus shrine box in the Giannini home, and her Angel would take the letters and place them on the desk of her spiritual director, Father Germano, who lived several hundred miles away in Rome -More info on these angelic letter deliveries here). Monsignor Volpi, it seems, wanted to once again test these “angelic deliveries” and requested that Cecilia give Gemma’s letters to him, so on this occasion, Cecelia did not place it in the Child Jesus shrine, like Gemma expected, but brought it to Monsignor Volpi, as he had requested.

    Gemma, not knowing of this new procedure, referred to the letter in her next correspondence with Father Germano. Conferring with Gemma soon afterwards, Cecelia learned that Father Germano had the letter that she believed to be in Monsignor's possession. Upon telling the Monsignor, he immediately produced the letter in question, with the date which he had affixed. What was the consternation of Gemma when Cecelia made this known to her and the conclusion that the Monsignor had come to--that she was a fraud and a deceiver. But from a human standpoint, what more reasonable than the Monsignor's decision? He was certain that she had found out that the letter had not gone, and that she, to save face, had written a duplicate to Father Germano. To Gemma and to Father Germano, it was but one more trick of the devil. What it meant to Cecelia and to others was quite different. For Gemma writes to Father Germano:

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  5. padraig

    padraig New Member

    Dear Father,
    ... Do not be afraid, Father, the authentic letter is the one that you have in your hands. Do not give it to anyone; that is what Jesus wishes. But whatever happened after that letter was written, I do not know. Everybody since this affair treats me with severity. Before, they believed that there might be something good in me and showed great regard for me; now they think differently. Now there is left to me only Jesus, and Jesus alone. Monsignor is very much disturbed about the matter, so that he will hardly hear my confession. He says I am a liar as the devil is a liar; he tries to keep me from receiving Communion, and says if I continue to sin, he will forbid me to write to you. I refrain all I can from speaking of you in confession because Monsignor tells me that it is extraordinary that a priest like you would have believed me so readily and have succumbed thus to the devil. Nevertheless, let us thank Jesus together, Father, for this trial.

    Today after Communion I asked Jesus to explain the mystery to me somewhat, and he said: "Oh Daughter, now has come the time when your strength will be most cruelly tested, and I will give you whatever graces are necessary for you. Be calm, because I am always in your heart." Blessed be Jesus! How calm and content I should be if my flesh did not rebel, but I shall try to make it subject to the spirit. It is the devil who is at work in me. Yesterday he forbade me to give so much thought to Jesus, and tried to forbade me to go to Holy Communion, and to be like everybody else, and not care so much for Signora Cecelia; and now that poor aunt is so afraid that it is the work of the devil, that at night she does not come to see me any more; in the morning she leaves me alone and cares no more for me, saying to me at every word that I speak: "I do not wish to be deluded."

    Oh Father, this suffeing I had already foreseen; but what shall I do? If it were not for Mea, [one of the servants] I should be always alone. But then have I really deceived everyone? What will become of my soul? I think of my soul, at Communion, which Monsignor thinks is continually in the state of sin, I die of grief; grief for the great wrong that I may have done to Jesus. I do not wish to deceive anyone. Pardon me for saying it; but I don't think I deceive as Cecelia, Monsignor, and all the others believe. Help me, I want to be good, I want to obey. Don't keep me here any longer; put me in some place in Rome, near you; I die of sorrow, I don't want to sin any more; I am in peril; I am in peril in soul and in body. I am in Hell .... No one loves me in this house; all are very severe. No one speaks to me any more but Jesus, for Jesus is always with me.

    But if Signora Cecelia is afraid of the devil, what shall I say when I am all alone? Even now I feel myself destroyed, finished. Jesus.., Jesus! ... I am alone writing in the study of Signor Lorenzo. Oh Father. . . . Jesus, make me share in your sufferings. Let me suffer lovingly, suffer for you Jesus, and die suffering. What if I be deprived of Jesus? Oh Jesus, have I really lost Your grace? But even in the midst of so much unworthiness I love you so fervently!. I shall die, Jesus, if I die it shall be for the love of you. Father, I take courage; the smaller I feel myself to be, the more I feel the love of Jesus; His love inebriates me . . . even though Cecelia and the others do not love me. I remain alone; Father, do not leave me here alone.
    No one knows that I have written this letter.

    Poor Gemma! The love that her foster mother Cecilia, the Giannini’s and Monsignor Volpi had for her had been undermined by the machinations of the devil! Living with Cecilia and the Giannini’s, she came to feel herself a outcast and a burden in her own home. As we can see their lack of confidence and trust in her wounded her loving heart immensely.

    Father Germano, (who has since been officially declared "Venerable" by the Catholic Church)having received this letter, wrote at once to Signora Cecelia to reassure her anew, and commend to her with paternal affection the dear Gemma:
    "Be assured that the letter which I have in my hands is not trickery. And be sure that soon light will be shed upon that one which is in Monsignor's hands. To Gemma, then, do not be reproachful; be with her again affectionate and loving. Believe that Jesus is in your house in her person. For now, tell her she is to refrain absolutely from writing to me (without, however, letting her know that I said it.) If she has something to say to me, let her tell me directly through her Angel or mine.

    If it is Jesus who has given you, Gemma, this humiliation, who are we to say, "Why have you done this?" I should be very much disturbed therefore, if dear Gemma is distressed about it. It would be a dreadful sign of pride. Oh, do we not merit worse for our sins and ingratitude and lack of correspondence? In regard to strength, if we are humble, Jesus will give us a great deal. Therefore, Gemma of Jesus is not to vilify herself, and also is to guard against saying or thinking that the confessor is mistaken or was mistaken. This also would be pride. Instead, humble yourself and say: "Behold the poor, miserable, ignorant, foolish, unworthy servant of God; do with me what is pleasing to You."
    Do you understand, Gemma? Do not reflect so much; do not indulge in so much recrimination, but suffer in silence, and with humility. For now, go to Father Vallini to confess or to whomsoever you are told. If the present tribulation increases, be firm as a rock. If the Giannini's should want to drive you from the house as a malicious person, it is not my wish that you go elsewhere. Your adopted mother, Cecelia, and I, your father, will stand by you. on, I will not abandon you, dear child; in all your sufferings you can count upon me. And then there is Jesus, the dear Spouse of our souls. Our dear Jesus of Gemma! And then there are the Angels. Our dear Angels! What could you do more than you are doing?

    And he concludes with these words to Cecelia:
    My blessing at all times to you and to this dear girl.

    P. Germanus"

    Again Gemma writes:
    "June 29, 1901
  6. Sanctus

    Sanctus "Pray, pray ,pray!"

    Thanks for this, Padraig.
  7. padraig

    padraig New Member

  8. Agnes rose

    Agnes rose Archangels

    Beautiful. Today is The Passionist Priest's feastday.
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  9. Sanctus

    Sanctus "Pray, pray ,pray!"

    Who is the Passionist Priest, Agnes Rose?
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  10. Agnes rose

    Agnes rose Archangels

    St Gabriel of our Lady of Sorrows.
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  11. Denise P

    Denise P Archangels

    St. Gabriel Possenti. He was the saint attributed to the cause of her healing.
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  12. padraig

    padraig New Member

    When I got up this morning I came across that little video of St Gabriel and posted it.

    Then I went up to 10am mass in the Holy Cross and confession. Outside the Church is a huge beautiful statue of St Gabriel. I must have passed it a thousand times without really paying attention but today I stood a while thinking about him and praying. Then at mass the priest told us it was the Feast of St Gabriel! Suddenly everything came together.:)

    When I got home I found a full film on Gabriel's life with English subtitles. I never knew it was out there.

    I have been feeling St Gabriel so close all day. You know we don;t always choose to go to the saints ;sometimes they choose to come to us and I think this was jut one of those days.:)

    I have been reading of Gabriel a Patron of Youth since boyhood. One story I love. He was a crack shot and one time chased three thieves by opening fire on them. He was a Passionist Novice at the time. Just like out of a cowboy story. He could have downed to lot but just fired warning shots.:)

    You know they really do celebrate Feast Days in heaven. I could feel his joy all day; as if he as dancing.:):)


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  13. AED

    AED Powers

    Just heard about him on the radio!
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  14. Sanctus

    Sanctus "Pray, pray ,pray!"

    He is the Patron saint of young people.
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  15. padraig

    padraig New Member

    I don't know how I missed it but I have never read St Gemma's Diary

    It really seems quite extraordinary!!

    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
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  16. Sanctus

    Sanctus "Pray, pray ,pray!"

    It must be quite extraordinary if Satan tried to burn it!
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  17. padraig

    padraig New Member

    I listened to some of it today; I must listen to it all when I get a chance.

    These wonderful young saints; I think what sets them aprt is that they gave everything right away. They did not know how to say, 'No'.
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  18. Sanctus

    Sanctus "Pray, pray ,pray!"

    Happy feast day Saint Gemma.
  19. Agnes rose

    Agnes rose Archangels

    Happy feastday St Gemma!!!!!
  20. padraig

    padraig New Member

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