St Gemma Galgani and her guardian Angel



The Miraculous assistance of St Gemma Galgani's guardian Angel


Since St Gemma Galgani was called by God to be a soul victim, that is, to suffer for the conversion of sinners, it follows that God would give her extraordinary graces to better accomplish this vocation to which He called her. One of the astounding supernatural graces in the life of St Gemma is extraordinary assistance of her guardian Angel, who was a great help in her sanctification.

In “The Life of St. Gemma Galgani”, Venerable Father Germanus C.P. states “Gemma saw her guardian angel with her own eyes, touched him with her hand, as if he were a being of this world, and would talk to him as would one friend to another.
“Jesus” she once said “has not left me alone; He makes my guardian angel stay with me always.”

Her guardian angel assists her in prayer.
Father Germano continues “…He let her see him sometimes raised in the air with outspread wings, with his hands extended over her, or else hands joined in an attitude of prayer. At other times he would kneel beside her. If they were reciting vocal prayers or the Psalms, they did so alternately; if aspirations or prayers from the heart, “they rivaled one another” [these are Gemma’s words] that is, they had a holy rivalry as to whom would say them with more fervor saying ‘Viva Gesu’ or ‘Benedetto di Dio’ and other such beautiful invocations. When it was time for meditation, the angel inspired her with sublimest ideas, and moved her affections so that the result of this holy exercise may be more perfect. The subject of these meditations was, for the most part, the Passion of Our Lord, the angel like a good master, laid open its profound mysteries to her soul. “Look” he would exclaim, “at what Jesus suffered for men. Consider each of these wounds. It is love that has opened them all. See how horrible sin is, since to expiate it, so much pain and so much love have been necessary”. These and other such reflections went straight to the heart of the fervent Gemma”

On another occasion she writes:
"I was in bed suffering greatly, when on a sud­den I became absorbed in prayer. I joined my hands and, moved with heartfelt sorrow for my countless sins, I made an act of deep contrition. My mind was wholly plunged in this abyss of my crime against my God, when I beheld my Angel standing by my bed. I felt ashamed of being in his presence. He instead was more than courteous with me, and said, kindly: "Jesus loves thee greatly. Love Him greatly in return." Then he added: "Are you fond of Jesus' Mother? Salute Her very often, for She values such attention very much, and unfailingly returns the salutations offered to Her; and if you do not sense this, know that She makes a proof of your unfailing trust." He blessed me and disappeared.

Her guardian angel guides her in spiritual matters
In her Autobiography, Gemma writes “One evening, when I was suffering more than usual, I was complaining to Jesus and telling him that I would not have prayed so much if I had known that He was not going to cure me, and I asked Him why I had to be sick this way. My angel answered me as follows: ‘If Jesus afflicts you in your body, it is always to purify you in your soul. Be good.’ Oh, how many times during my long illness did I not experience such consoling words in my heart! But I never profited by them.”
(one can see in these words Gemma’s humility)
“From the moment I got up from my sick bed (was cured –editor) my guardian angel began to be my master and guide. He corrected me every time I did something wrong, and he taught me to speak but little, and only when I was spoken to.
One day, when those in the house were speaking of some person, and were not speaking very well of her, I wanted to speak up, but the angel gave me a severe rebuke.
He taught me to keep my eyes cast down, and one time in Church he reproved me strongly saying to me:
‘Is this the way you conduct yourself in the presence of God?’

And another time he admonished me in this way ‘If you are not good, I will not let you see me anymore’. He taught me many times how to act in the presence of God; that is, to adore Him in His infinite goodness, His infinite majesty, His mercy and in all His attributes”

Once, Gemma’s guardian angel ordered her to write the following:
'Remember daughter, that whoever truly loves Jesus speaks little and bears all things. I command thee, on behalf of Jesus, to always refrain from giving your own opinion, unless it is asked; always to prefer silence to upholding your own views. Whenever you have committed a fault, accuse yourself of it at once, and do not wait for others to accuse thee. Give full obedience to your confessor, and to those whom he commands thee to obey; and be always sincere with them. Remember to guard your eyes, and be assured that the eyes that are mortified, shall behold the beauties of heaven.’To humble her, her guardian angel once said to her: “Poor child! How imperfect you are! How much you need others to keep a constant guard over thee. Oh, how much patience I must have with thee.”
Concerning this care that the Angel gave her, Father Germano writes- “…Gemma had once been beaten cruelly by the devil during her evening prayer, and being unable to move, the Angel lifted her to her bed, and stood there watching by her pillow.”

In her Autobiography she writes:
“I recall very well one time I was given a gold watch and chain. Ambitious as I was, I could hardly wait to put it on and go out (an indication, dear Father that my imagination was working on me). I did in fact go out with it on and when I returned home and started to take it off I saw an angel (whom I recognized immediately as my Guardian Angel) who said to me very seriously; “Remember that the precious jewelry that adorns the spouse of the Crucified King can only be thorns and the cross.”

I did not even tell my confessor about this. In fact, I tell it now for the first time. These words made me fear, as did the angel himself. But a little later, while reflecting on them without understanding them at all, I made this resolution: I resolve for the love of Jesus, and to please Him, never to wear the watch again, and not even to speak of things that savor of vanity. At the time I also had a ring on my finger. I took it off immediately and from then until now I have not worn such things”

Another extraordinary angelic event is the fact that Gemma often sent her guardian angel on errands, to ask Jesus, Mary or St Gabriel Possenti some permission or assistance. Later her guardian angel would return, with such a reply or permission as she requested.


The Child Jesus shrine that Gemma would place her letters beneath
Angelic Letter Deliveries

However, the most unusual angelic errands were the one’s that Father Germano writes about in Gemma’s biography. Gemma would write a letter to him (Father Germano) seeking some spiritual guidance, and then place it in a “Little Manger Shrine” that was in the Gianinni home (her "adopted" family -editor), and because she had no money for stamps, she would request her angel to deliver the letter for her. Father Germanus, living several hundred miles away in Rome at the time, would soon “find” the letter unstamped on his desk, or another such place. (yet another reason for the angelic deliveries was the fact that Father Germanus travelled extensively in his preaching ministry, and Gemma never knew where to reach him)

Realizing how unusual this was, Father Germano asked Heaven for a sign that these "angelic deliveries" were it was in accord with God’s Will. Afterwards, while he was staying at the Passionist house in Corneto, Italy, a "young boy" knocked at the door asking for him. Father Germanus answered the door and the boy handed him a letter from Gemma, and ubruptly turned and left without saying a word. Who was the boy and how could Gemma have known that he was visiting at Corneto? He opened the letter and immediately realized that God answered his prayer as to the authenticity of these "angelic" deliveries. On most other occasions when these "angelic letter deliveries" occurred, Father Germanus would simply find Gemma's unstamped letter on his desk when he arrived in his office.

After Gemma’s death, he wrote: “I always received the angelic letters faithfully. The fact is unusual … I confess I do not understand it at all....To how many tests did I not I submit this singular phenomenon in order to convince myself that it took place through a supernatural intervention! And yet none of my tests ever failed; and thus I was convinced again and again that in this, like in many other extraordinary things in her life, Heaven was delighted in amusing itself, as it were, with this innocent and dear maiden.”

Her Guardian angel corrects her

Father Germanus writes "When necessary, her guardian Angel knew how to show severity. She one day told me this in the following words "My Angel is a little severe, but I am glad of it. During the last few days, he corrected me as often as three or four times a day".

Gemma writes "Yesterday while at table I raised my eyes and saw my Angel looking at me with frightening severity. Later, when I went to my room, Oh my God, how angry he was! I looked at him, but lowered my eyes immediately. He said "Are you not ashamed to commit such faults in my presence?" He cast such severe looks at me! And I did nothing but cry and recommend myself to my God and to my Blessed Mother, that they might take me away, because I could not bear it much longer. Every now and then he repeated "I am ashamed of you." I prayed also that others might not see him so angry; for if they did, no one would come near me....I did not have courage to say a word to him, for whenever I raised my eyes, he was looking at me severely.... Yesterday evening I found it impossible to sleep, and at last at about 2:00am I saw him approach. He put his hand on my forehead saying "Sleep my poor child", then he disappeared."


Her love for her guardian angel
Her spiritual director Father Gemanus writes- "Gemma, seeing the great charity her angel lavished upon her, loved her angel immensely, and his name was always on her tongue as well as in her heart."
‘Dear Angel’ she would say ‘I love you so!’
‘And why’ the Angel asked.
Because you teach me how to be good, and to keep humble, and to please Jesus'."

Compiled from various sources including "The Autobiography of St Gemma Galgani" , and also "Gemma Galgani -A Child of the Passion" by Philip Coghlan CP, and also "The Life of Saint Gemma Galgani" by Venerable Father Germanus C.P.
"Fire! Fire in my heart! This morning it is burning.....Dear Jesus, I love you so much! I shall endeavor always to love You; I shall live to love You; I shall die to love You! ....Give me wings oh Jesus, so I can fly to Your throne!"
".....Can You see that as soon as the day breaks I think of You? As evening comes, I am near You.....I am near You at every moment.......I love You, Jesus....."
-St Gemma Galgani -June, 1902

St Gemma Home Page: http://www.stgemmagalgani.com

11 comments:

Dymphna (4HisChurch) said...

I am in awe of this blog!! St. Gemma is my patron saint and I've long wanted to develop a closer relationship with her.

I appreciate your missive about striving to be in full communion with the Church. I have been disappointed with other St. Gemma sites in the past and have had to stop visiting.

Also, I have NEVER seen that picture on the top of the sidebar! What is the story behind it?

Best of luck with this blog!

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Dymphna,
Thank you for your kind comments.
This picture is indeed somewhat rare.
It is however in two different books on St. Gemma (possibly others)

The two books are:
"The Autobiography of St. Gemma Galgani" published by the Passionist nuns in Erlanger, KY
For those interested, this book can be purchased for $5.00 from the Passionists here:
http://crossplace.com/store/product45.html

or by sending $5.00 by mail to the Passionist Nuns located here:
Passionist Nuns Monestary
1151 Donaldson Highway
Erlanger, KY. 41018
=============
The second book that this picture is in is "The Voices of Gemma Galgani- The Life and Afterlife of a Modern Saint" which can be purchased through Amazon or other book retailers.

If you haven't already read it, HIGHLY recommend the first one (her autobiography), written by St. Gemma herself under obedience to her spiritual director. It is most edifying and is really a spiritual treasure.

By the way, there is another picture just like this one, with the same background (it was surely taken at the same time) except in that one one of her eyes is partially closed.
-Glenn Dallaire

Dymphna (4HisChurch) said...

Thanks so much for the info on the book, Glenn! I'll have to discipline myself to send away for it. Thanks a lot!

LoveBeing said...

Hello again dear Glenn..

Once again I've tried and hoped to see things in another way- but I just couldn't. The letters miracles was nice to read about but again reading about the harsh looks her angel gave her and the threats of her not seeing him anymore.. Also this judgmental behavior and making her feel shame of herself.. For me it does not seem an angel at all.

I read a Lot about angels and I've NEVER ever seen or heard of an angel who was angry or upset or displease of anyone.. They job is to heal and help people feel good about who they are- the best cure is love! Even if an angel "only" loves and accepts- the humans can see their faults for themselves.. Humans do it enough.. I think God and the angels will always and forever see us as perfect and they only try to show us this.

The goal is to remember our source as souls and sons & daughters of God and of heaven.. All of our "sins" are only of this world.. But when it is time to return home- I believe we are all purified, forgiven and Love unconditionally no matter what. I still think that her visions of that "angry" angel- were not heavenly or godly. I can say this with confidence after I myself had to deal with OCD and still to this day- with bad and degrading thought of myself.. and those who helps me out is my own soul, my guardian angel and God- reminding me I'm loved and perfect as I am..

This is what I believe..

Here's a near death experience of a woman who felt she was a sinner but later found out how much she is loved by God:

http://4herway.com/4letterword/index.html

But there are so many others in this site: www.near-death.com

In ALL of the NDEs, God is always loving, and he loves unconditionally.. We must remind ourselves that guilt and shame is not of the heavenly world- but only of the human world..

Thanks for your site & for who you are,

With Love,
Gil :-)

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Gil,
Thank so much for your kind comments.

I'll refrain from making my own comments but will reply with Sacred Scripture, as the Word of God speaks better than a poor soul such as myself.
---------------------------

1 Chronicles, Chapter 21:
Therefore the LORD sent pestilence upon Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel died.
15
God also sent an angel to destroy Jerusalem; but as he was on the point of destroying it, the LORD saw and decided against the calamity, and said to the destroying angel , "Enough now! Stay your hand! "The angel of the LORD was then standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
16
When David raised his eyes, he saw the angel of the LORD standing between earth and heaven, with a bare sword in his hand stretched out against Jerusalem. David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, prostrated themselves face to the ground,
17
and David prayed to God: "Was it not I who ordered the census of the people? I am the one who sinned, I did this wicked thing. But these sheep, what have they done? O LORD, my God, strike me and my father's family, but do not afflict your people with this plague!"
18
Then the angel of the LORD commanded Gad to tell David to go up and erect an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
-------------------------------


Genesis Chapter 19
1
The two angels reached Sodom in the evening, as Lot was sitting at the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he got up to greet them; and bowing down with his face to the ground,
2
1 he said, "Please, gentlemen, come aside into your servant's house for the night, and bathe your feet; you can get up early to continue your journey." But they replied, "No, we shall pass the night in the town square."
3
He urged them so strongly, however, that they turned aside to his place and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking cakes without leaven, and they dined.
4
Before they went to bed, all the townsmen of Sodom, both young and old--all the people to the last man--closed in on the house.
5
They called to Lot and said to him, "Where are the men who came to your house tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have intimacies with them."
6
Lot went out to meet them at the entrance. When he had shut the door behind him,
7
he said, "I beg you, my brothers, not to do this wicked thing.
8
I have two daughters who have never had intercourse with men. Let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you please. But don't do anything to these men, for you know they have come under the shelter of my roof."
9
They replied, "Stand back! This fellow," they sneered, "came here as an immigrant, and now he dares to give orders! We'll treat you worse than them!" With that, they pressed hard against Lot, moving in closer to break down the door.
10
But his guests [the two angels] put out their hands, pulled Lot inside with them, and closed the door;
11
2 at the same time they struck the men at the entrance of the house, one and all, with such a blinding light that they were utterly unable to reach the doorway.
12
3 Then the angels said to Lot: "Who else belongs to you here? Your sons (sons-in-law) and your daughters and all who belong to you in the city--take them away from it!
13
We are about to destroy this place, for the outcry reaching the LORD against those in the city is so great that he has sent us to destroy it."
14
4 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had contracted marriage with his daughters. "Get up and leave this place," he told them; "the LORD is about to destroy the city." But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.
15
As dawn was breaking, the angels urged Lot on, saying, "On your way! Take with you your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city."
16
When he hesitated, the men, by the LORD'S mercy, seized his hand and the hands of his wife and his two daughters and led them to safety outside the city.
17
As soon as they had been brought outside, he was told: "Flee for your life! Don't look back or stop anywhere on the Plain. Get off to the hills at once, or you will be swept away."
18
"Oh, no, my lord!" replied Lot.
19
"You have already thought enough of your servant to do me the great kindness of intervening to save my life. But I cannot flee to the hills to keep the disaster from overtaking me, and so I shall die.
20
5 Look, this town ahead is near enough to escape to. It's only a small place. Let me flee there--it's a small place, isn't it?--that my life may be saved."
21
"Well, then," he replied, "I will also grant you the favor you now ask. I will not overthrow the town you speak of.
22
Hurry, escape there! I cannot do anything until you arrive there." That is why the town is called Zoar.
23
The sun was just rising over the earth as Lot arrived in Zoar;
24
at the same time the LORD rained down sulphurous fire upon Sodom and Gomorrah (from the LORD out of heaven).
25
6 He overthrew those cities and the whole Plain, together with the inhabitants of the cities and the produce of the soil.
26
But Lot's wife looked back, and she was turned into a pillar of salt.
27
Early the next morning Abraham went to the place where he had stood in the LORD'S presence.
28
7 As he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and the whole region of the Plain, he saw dense smoke over the land rising like fumes from a furnace.
29
Thus it came to pass: when God destroyed the Cities of the Plain, he was mindful of Abraham by sending Lot away from the upheaval by which God overthrew the cities where Lot had been living.

----------------------------

I think we can therefore see that God uses Angels to correct and at times punish us for our sins.

The point is sin seperates us from God, so like any good parent, He corrects us at times when necessary, out of His infinite love for us.

You said >>"I think God and the angels will always and forever see us as perfect and they only try to show us this.<<
You also said >>and those who helps me out is my own soul, my guardian angel and God- reminding me I'm loved and perfect as I am..<<

The entire Scripture, beginning with the Book of Genesis, where first sin of Adam and Eve, thru the book of Revelation speak of humanities fallen nature. Most of us are in fact far from perfect, and all of us are sinners.

You are right that God intended us to be without sin, but having given our first parents free will, they chose to disobey God and thus they fell from grace and sin entered the world. Thus we are all sinners, but we are forgiven, if we ask and desire to be forgiven. That is the most importtant thing.

Perhaps in the end we will have to "agree to disagree" on this one.

However, the one thing it seems we both agree on is God's infinite love for us. Let us thank God for His infinite love!

May God bless you and yours,
Glenn

Anonymous said...

If we people of the world read the lives of the saints the world won't be as it is.

Maria

creation site web maroc said...

I found this story very fantastic and very nice.It contains a lot of values that has an importance in our life.

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful story. I do however, feel quite ill, I think that the dear child, although I believe these accounts, I also think that she was being abused. Keeping her eyes down, not being allowed to speak. Surrounded by males and a story of males making certain that she keeps her eyes down and does not speak. I think there is a sorrowful story behind the beautiful story.

Stephen Browning said...

Whenever I need a problem resolved with anyone,
I first send my Guardian Angel to that person's
Guardian Angel; and, this has never failed, always
ending with a positive resolution.

Peter Stocker said...

I love to read about the guardian angels, who,are not understood or invoked as they should be. They stand always in the presence of the Holy Trinity,; they are not distracted from their sole mission to praise God and lead us to them. We need to all pray to them with great faith. They will never let us down. How great the Mercy of God that He has given us a messenger, a true friend to to lead us through the dark shadows and deserts of this world to love and praise Him forever!

Anonymous said...

Thanks again Glenn for all you do! Love Gemma! I'm learning Italian for whenever I go to Lucca.

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