Devotion of the Faithful to St. Gemma
Immediately after Gemma’s death, people began praying to her asking for her intercession for various needs. Gemma’s spiritual director, Father Germanus, began receiving numerous letters attesting to Gemma’s miraculous intercession on behalf of the faithful. By the time he wrote the first edition of her biography, he had received hundreds of letters. He added a few of these letters to the end of her biography.
Venerable Father Germanus writes: “A stranger called at our retreat house of Sts. John and Paul in Rome and asked to see me. On my coming to him he requested to see me privately, and when we were alone he said: "I have been sent to you by Gemma Galgani, who, drawing me from the abyss of sin in which I was involved, spoke the following words to my ear as well as to my heart: 'Go to Rome and seek at the Monastery of Sts. John and Paul a Priest by the name of Fr. Germanus, and settle with him the affairs of your soul without delay, otherwise Jesus will strike you.’ This said and with tears in his eyes, he threw himself at my feet, saying: ‘Father, hear my Confession.’ I also shed tears of emotion, heard his Confession and absolved him. Then, after mutual kind words, he, like one risen from death to life, thanked me and left for the railway station to return to the town whence he had come.”
“Marianna Angelini, a Roman, twenty years ago had to undergo an operation for a tumor on her breast. Fifteen years later, in August, 1903, the operation had to be repeated in St. James' Hospital, Rome. It seemed a success, but, after the lapse of four years, a fresh tumor appeared, and a third operation was advised. The poor sufferer was undergoing excruciating torments night and day, which rendered her right arm powerless. Almost in despair, she appealed to all the Saints, until, hearing of Gemma of Lucca, she turned to her with confidence. She applied a relic and a picture of the Servant of God to the part affected, and, having begun a tridiuum of prayers, although up to that time she had not been able to get any rest, she fell into a tranquil sleep. As soon as her mother awoke, her child, age four, ‘told her that a beautiful girl had come to her and assured her of Mamma's recovery’. It was so, for the invalid, having slept well all that night, felt perfectly free from pain; and, on her return, the surgeon found that there was no longer any need of an operation. In token of their gratitude, this lady and her husband gave a sum of money, more than proportionate to their means, toward the Cause of the Beatification of their benefactress.”
“Philomena Bini of Pisa, aged 72, suffered for a long time from malignant stomach disease, pronounced by several eminent physicians to be a cancerous ulceration of the worst kind. Various prescriptions were tried, more with the object of lessening pain than with hope of cure. Finally, it was openly declared that any further attempts to cure such a disease in a woman of her age, reduced to such a state, was loss of time, and so medical attendance was discontinued. Meanwhile, the parish priest visited her daily for months and administered to her the last Sacraments. In this extremity, a good lady of the city, hearing of Gemma, felt inspired to implore her intercession. Having procured a relic, she hastened to the bedside of the dying woman. She made all present kneel, said some prayers to the Blessed Trinity in honor of the Servant of God and applied the relic to the patient. Almost immediately the sick woman, who for a long time had not closed her eyes owing to the violent pains that tormented her, fell into a placid sleep that lasted the whole night. In the morning, on awakening, she found herself perfectly cured, without the least remnant of the pains that had tormented her for five years. She asked for food, and ate with appetite four times that day, taking broth, meat, biscuits, milk and eggs. Imagine the astonishment of the doctor when Philomena Bini, whom he believed dying, presented herself to him in robust health. Not trusting to what he saw, he wished to examine her with electric rays, and finding that all disease had gone, he exclaimed: "This is a miracle wrought by God!" Many months have passed since that miracle, and Philomena Bini continues to be in good health, such as she had not previously enjoyed since the days of her youth.”
There lived in Rome a family totally devoid of religious sentiments, like many others of the present time. The mother of this family had not been to Confession in 54 years. Her sons were living as though they were not Christians. Her daughters only, three gentle girls, remained good and devout and, day and night, deplored the sad state of their family, beseeching Heaven to have pity on them. Several influential persons were using all the means at their disposal to bring the old lady to a better state of mind, but it was lost time. God reserved this victory to Gemma. A good religious, grieved like others at this sad case, had recourse to the Servant of God with sighs and tears. She besought her with triduums and novenas. At length, she felt assured of success in her undertaking and went to see the obdurate old woman. She spoke to her of Gemma and touched her heart by telling her of the wonderful conversions wrought by the little Saint while living. Gemma carried the day! The old woman's heart was softened, she began to cry, and led by the Sister, she went to the church, made her Confession and received Holy Communion. She felt the consolation and soothing influence of God's grace in the depths of her soul from which it had been absent so many years; and, since that day, she has never omitted going morning and evening to weep and pray in that church, where she recovered the life of her soul. The religious, encouraged by such success, turned all her energies to overcoming, by the use of the same efficacious means, the obduracy of the old lady's sons. "Gemma," she said, "will convert them also." She had hard work with the eldest son. After the first repulse, she returned to Gemma's feet. "And now, Sister," she said to her, "what is to be done? Are you not moving in favor of my sinner? Tomorrow, Saturday, you are to convert him for me." Heaven granted this request also, and the next evening he asked to go to Confession and received Holy Communion with such joy of soul that, up to this day, he declares that he has never experienced anything like it. A few days later, acting as an apostle, he brought a friend, a libertine as he had been, to Confession to the same priest at whose feet he himself had acquired happiness. "Now," the same good Sister writes to me, "the youngest brother remains. He has never been to Confession and is thirty years of age. He believes nothing and his head is as hard as bronze. I have put him also in Gemma's hands, and she will see to him. I have no doubt of it."
During her lifetime, Gemma took to heart the pains and sufferings of others. Once, the mother of the large Giannini family (the family who had taken her in) fell gravely sick. Her name was Justina Giannini. She and her husband had eleven children to care for, all under the age of twenty. Concerning this grave illness Gemma's spiritual director, Venerable Father Germanus writes-
"The prayers of this faultless child for her benefactors deeply touched the heart of God, and moved Him to be most bounteous in rewarding them.....Once, the mother of the family fell seriously ill with internal spasmodic pains that made the attending Doctors speak unfavorably of her chances of recovery. Gemma was deeply saddened, and asked her Jesus that she instead might take upon herself those pains. Here are the words she used in telling me of it. 'I have taken upon myself those pains that you know of, that the mother of these children was suffering. They are truly fierce pains indeed, and I really don't know what is going to happen to me.'
"The lady in fact got well in an instant, and poor Gemma suffered for many months a long martyrdom that brought her to deaths door."
“Yes, yes, chosen one of God, see to the conversion of all poor sinners. Say to Jesus, as you often said to Him in ecstasy while here on earth: ‘I wish all sinners to be saved; save them for me, o Jesus.’ And, as for the salvation of sinners, so for every other spiritual and temporal need of thy devout clients, Gemma of Jesus, be not invoked in vain!" -Venerable Father Germanus C.P.
From “The Life of Saint Gemma Galgani” by Venerable Father Germanus CP
See this page also for the two miracles that were used for St Gemma's canonization:
"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