I was not always a practising Catholic-- up until age 28 I was very indifferent towards God, faith and religious practice, along with having an exceedingly selfish and self-centered outlook on life. But God is infinitely forgiving and kind, and in His great mercy and love He changed this foolish and poor heart of mine. -May He be blessed forever! I am still very much a sinner, but at least now I recognise and acknowledge my many faults, trusting in God's mercy and forgiveness.
I have a very special devotion to St Gemma Galgani, whom I consider my special patroness. Around the year 2000, I happened across an article about her on the Internet, and her special love and devotion for Jesus and Mary touched my heart immediately. I began to read some of her writings and I saw in her a model of love for God that I would like to have. I wanted to make her prayers my own, and her love for God my own. Her spirituality and intense love and devotion for Jesus and Mary struck me deeply. When you read her writings, you quickly discover that she was not a person of lukewarm devotion. Jesus was everything to her and her heart was all on fire for the love of Him, and out of this love for Him she had a great desire to suffer in union with Him, for the salvation of souls. To know St Gemma is to love her. It is impossible to read her writings and not be touched by the fire of her love for God. Also her photograph struck me- the one where she is looking directly into the camera, and therefore into the eyes of the beholder. There is something special about her countenance in the photo...it radiates love, peace, and a strong faith and devotion. -All these things drew me to her.
As I started to become devoted to St Gemma, a time came when I was interested in obtaining a relic of hers, to have her with me in a special way. I wrote to a number of Passionists, and one kind Passionist priest in New York offered me two relics of St Gemma. Remarkably, they arrived on St Gemma's birthday, (March 12), just as my family and I was beginning the rosary. It was Gemma, I believe, who arranged this "gift" on her birthday, as a sign of her friendship. And I received this gift with great joy. One of these two relics of St Gemma was a relic locket, which for years I have been wearing on a necklace, close to my heart.
And I believe that God gives us a devotion to the Saints to lead us ever closer into His Sacred Heart. He gave Gemma a strong devotion to St Gabriel Possenti, and how much she loved and admired his holiness and virtues! She confesses that she prayed to him throughout the day, and she even wore a relic (his tooth) on a necklace for awhile. The Saints lead us closer to God by helping us to obtain the virtues that we lack, and they help us overcome our sins and faults. Perhaps the very Saints that God gives us are the one's who excelled in the virtues that we are lacking in, or who have overcome similar faults that we have, and thus we can especially benefit and learn from their particular example and heavenly assistance?
St Gemma had a great devotion to St Gabriel Possenti; St John Vianney (the Cure of Ars) had a great devotion to St Philomena; St Teresa of Avila had a devotion to St Joseph...the list goes on and on. I believe that for many people, God places a devotion to a certain saint within their hearts, so that the person may follow that saints holy example, and draw closer to the Heart of Jesus through the particular help and intercession of that saint.
In this site I will offer some of her writings which I hope will inspire others to a greater love for Jesus and Mary. It is my sincere prayer that through this website, God may draw you ever closer to Himself, through the intercession of Saint Gemma. Those interested in reading more about how I came to know St. Gemma and my devotion to her can read this article entitled "One persons devotion to Saint Gemma -Webmasters story."
This website is all for the greater glory of God. -Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints!
--St Gemma Galgani, pray for us!
I enjoy hearing from others so please feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
May God bless you and your loved ones,