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”
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.
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 anwered his prayer as to the authentcity of these "angelic" deliveries. 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
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