The Stigmata of St. Gemma Galgani


The Stigmata of St Gemma Galgani

From “The Autobiography of St. Gemma Galgani

Jesus gives St Gemma the stigmata

“On June 8th (1899) after Communion, Jesus told me that that evening He would give me a very great grace. I went that same day to Confession, and I told Monsignor (Monsignor Giovanni Volpi, Gemma’s confessor –editor). He told me to be very attentive, so that I could tell him about it afterwards.

Evening came, and all of a sudden, earlier than usual, I felt an interior sorrow for my sins, far deeper than I had ever experienced before. In fact, it brought me very, very close to death. After this, all the powers of my soul became recollected. I could think of nothing but my sins, and the offense that they gave to God. My memory recalled all my past sins to mind, and made me see all the torments that Jesus had suffered in order to save me. And my will made me detest them, and promise to be willing to suffer anything in order to expiate them. My mind was flooded with thoughts; thoughts of sorrow, of love, of fear, of hope and of comfort.

Following this interior recollection, I was quickly rapt out of my senses, and I found myself before my heavenly Mother (Blessed Virgin Mary –editor). At her right stood my guardian angel, who told me to make an act of contrition. When I had finished it my blessed Mother said to me “Daughter—In the name of Jesus, your sins are forgiven.” Then she added: “Jesus my Son loves you very much, and He wishes to give you a grace. Do you know how to make yourself worthy of it?” In my misery I did not know what to answer. She continued “I will be your Mother. Will you be a true daughter?” She then spread her mantle and covered me with it.

At that moment Jesus appeared with all His wounds open, but blood no longer came out of those wounds. Rather, flames of fire issued forth from them and in an instant these flames came to touch my hands, my feet and my heart. I felt as if I would die. I fell to the floor, but my Mother supported me, keeping me covered in her mantle. I had to remain several hours in that position. Finally she kissed me on my forehead, and all vanished, and I found myself kneeling on the floor. But I still felt an intense pain in my hands, feet and heart. I arose to go to bed, and I then noticed that blood was flowing from those parts where I felt pain. I covered them as well as I could, and then with the help of my angel, I was able to go to bed. These sufferings and pains, although they afflicted me, filled me with perfect peace. The next morning I was able to go to Communion only with great difficulty, and I put on a pair of gloves in order to hide my hands. I could hardly stand on my feet, and I thought I would die at any minute. The sufferings continued until 3pm on Friday afternoon, the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

(The solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church every year on the 19th day after Pentecost. The stigmata of St Gemma Galgani occurred on the vigil of this feast, June 8, 1899 -editor)


Such is Gemma's simple written account of how she first received that most marvellous of gifts, the sa­cred Stigmata, or marks of our Lord's Five Wounds. The following morning she went as usual to Church to participate at Holy Mass, despite the terrible pains, and she put glo­ves on her hands to cover and hide her wounds. But she was very far from feeling the smallest pride or vainglory because of them, on the contrary she began to wonder whether they were a gift bestowed to all people consecrated by vow to Jesus Crucified. She began also to gently question people in such a way so as to find out whether they had experienced anything of the same kind.

As the days went on the blood kept flowing, and not knowing what to do, she felt that she must tell someone of the family about it. Fi­nally she went to one of her aunts and in the most simple way she showed her the wounds in her hands and said:
“Aunt, just look at what Jesus has done me!”.
Her aunt was completely stunned, and gazed at her in amaze­ment, and knowing Gemma she realized at once that those wounds were due to some supernatural mystery, but she was far from expecting what happened afterwards, na­mely, that for a long time to come Gemma would receive this marvellous and keenly painful favour every week on Thursday night, and that it was to continue until about 3:00pm on Friday afternoons.

No preparation whatever preceded the phenomenon, it came upon her always quickly, with a sudden “call” of of her spirit which was then followed by a rapture, during which the wounds appeared in her hands, feet and side, sometimes deeper and more visible than at other limes, but always causing intense suffering, and always disappearing on Friday afternoon or early on Saturday morning. The disappearance of her wounds was as well remarkable: as soon as the ecstasy on Friday was over, the flow of blood from all the wounds ceased, the flesh quickly healed, and on the following day, or at the latest on Sunday, not a trace of those deep gashes remained. Only a whitish mark was left where the wounds had been.

This extraordinary grace of the stigmata was repeated on each Thursday evening from 8:00pm until the following Friday afternoon at 3:00pm, the hour in which our Lord Jesus died on the cross. In Gemma's last three years of her life it completely ceased, out of obedience to her spiritual director who forbade it, and Jesus, who always respects obedience above all things, caused the stigmata to cease at the request of her director, however the white marks were distinctly visible upon her body, and especially on her feet, even when she died. And so when Gemma’s spiritual director, Padre Germano Ruoppolo told her to ask God to remove all exterior signs of the passion, she humbly obeyed and prayed that the stigmata and other exterior signs be removed, at least from outward appearance. God seconded the authority of the Priest and answered Gemma’s prayer. For the remainder of her life the exterior signs of the Stigmata were removed, however she often continued to suffer the Stigmata interiorly. During this time she was heard in ecstasy to say “Oh Jesus, I would give you my hands and my feet, but my director has forbidden it. Take my heart then; that at least I can give."


Gemma had become Jesus' little victim of love, waiting on His Will for everything. She had learned very well from Him that love is shown by sacrifice, and this knowledge deepened her thirst after suf­fering. And a worthy victim of Love she was! His Wounds upon herself became the treasure of her life and her haven of refuge. And like five precious jewels they adorned her. In union with the wounds of Jesus she found in them all that she wish­ed, and in their blood she bathed and offered all her sufferings and sacrifices, most especially for the conversion of sinners, and for the souls in purgatory; and her message is that we may do likewise, by offering Jesus wounds and blood for ourselves, our loved ones and others. –St Gemma, pray for us!


This picture is an actual drawing of the wounds by Gemma's spirtual director, Venerable Father Germanus C.P. (Note: You can click on the drawing-picture to enlarge it)



For more information concerning the stigmata given to St Gemma see: http://www.stgemmagalgani.com/2009/01/stigmata-scourgings-crown-of-thorns.html



“…I will seek You everywhere. I will love You always. What have You done Jesus? What have You done with my poor heart that makes it always yearn for You? I wish that my voice could reach throughout the earth; I would call all sinners and tell them all to come into Thy Heart!" -St Gemma Galgani

17 comments:

Erin said...

What a beautiful Blog you have! Thank you for writing about this Saint! I've always admired her but I've never really known much about her! God bless and keep you as you are a witness to our faith! I've added you to my Blog list!

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Erin!
Thanks for your kind comments. My blog is a labor of love, as I can see by viewing yours that yours is too. I added it to my blog list. My God bless you and yours!
Glenn

The Sceptical Fundamentalist said...

Thanks Glenn.

I think St. Gemma is a beautiful person that I have been looking for in prayer for a long time.

I hope that she will be a companion to me for eternity. God bless you, and Fr. Tim for highlighting your blog

Glenn Dallaire said...

Dear Skeptical Fundamentalist,
Thank you for your kind comments.

I promise you that if you read the Life of St. Gemma and/or her Autobiography she will quickly capture your heart and admiration. Of this I can assure you. Her heart was all on fire for the love of Jesus and she knew well how to express her love of God.
I will be posting lots more from St. Gemma's writings in the next few days so stay tuned!

Thanks again and may God bless you,
Glenn Dallaire

Gregory Thaumaturgas said...

Fantastic site! I found this because http://stlouiscatholic.blogspot.com had a link to it. I'd never known about St Gemma before, and this is fantastic. Got to start reading about another Padre Pio type person now :)

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Gregory,
Thank you for your comments.

I am glad you are enjoying the website.

-Glenn

Anonymous said...

Why am I so drawn to her? Somehow she seems familiar from my long ago Catholic education.

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Anonymous,
I wouldn't be surprised at all if you have come across St Gemma during your childhood catechism classes. While she is not as popular with the youth as St Therese or St Maria Goretti for example, nevertheless she has always been a model for children since she died at a relatively young age. The Passionist priests and nuns have especially spread devotion to her ands she is often been one of the Saints in childrens catechism books.

Thanks again and may God bless you and your loved ones.
-St Gemma, pray for us!
Glenn Dallaire

Kim said...

Hi Glenn! Thank you for creating this wonderful website that honors St. Gemma! I really appreciate this page on how she received the Sacred Stigmata! I like how Jesus, the Blessed Mother and St. Gemma's Guardian Angel all took part in her receiving this mysterious grace! Thank you!

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Kim,
Thanks for your kind comments.
The stigmata given by Jesus to St Gemma is so extraordinary, isn't it?
Because of the stigmata and the crown of thorns she suffered greatly as a victim soul for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for sin.
-St Gemma, pray for us!
Glenn Dallaire

Joanna Farrugia said...

Hi Glenn

This is a beautiful website on St Gemma Galgani. I have always admired and loved her childlike simplicity but I could never really find enough information about her. This website is obviously a 'labor of love' as you yourself called it. It is quite obvious that is has cost you a lot of labour and effort, not to mention time. I will most certainly continue coming back to it, over and over again! God bless you!

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Joanna,
Thanks so much for your kind comments.
I am really glad to hear that you have a longtime devotion to St Gemma, and that you are enjoying the website.
-St Gemma, pray for us!
Glenn Dallaire

Anonymous said...

St. Gemma is my confermation saint and this is a beautiful blog. Thank You so much.

Love,
Katie

Anonymous said...

Hi! i really like her story and having pity for her at the same time.But thanks to her i have learned so much about on how to love Jesus more.....I wish i can know about her life more!! its so nice!!!...GOD BLESS YOU SAINT GEMMA GALGANI AND JESUS!!!!FOR ALL YOU HELP!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for teaching us about this beautiful saint! It means so much to me and my family. St. Gemma thank you. Please pray for us.

God Bless You,

Cherie Donivan, Mobile,Al.

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Cherie,
Thanks for your kind comment. I pray that St Gemma may lead you and your family closer to Jesus--St Gemma, pray for us!

Glenn Dallaire

Stephen Browning said...

What a special Grace to be able to have a share
In the Five Wounds (Gems) of Jesus Chriist;
and, to willingly cooperate with His suffering
as a Victim Soul. Praised be Jesus Christ
for the Life of Saint Gemma; who, by her
cooperation with God's Will for her life was
able to assist in saving many Souls and, bring
many Souls to Heaven from Purgatory.
Blessed be God, in His Angels and in His Saints!

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