Yesterday during the day I had to talk with my guardian angel once again; he reproached me above all for my laziness about prayer; he reminded me of many other things: all about the eyes, still, he threatened me severely. Last night in church he reminded me again of what he had said that day, telling me I would have to reckon with Jesus. Finally, before going to bed, as I was asking his blessing, he warned me that today, August 20, Jesus wished me to undergo an assault from the demon, this because for several days I had been negligent in prayer. He warned me that the devil would make every effort to prevent me from praying, especially mentally for all of today, and he would also deprive me of his visit (I mean my guardian angel's), but only for today.
I went to Holy Communion, but who knows in what a state! So distracted -with my mind still on last night- that is, on a bad dream, which I recognized as the work of the devil.
Oh God, the moment of the assault has come; and it was strong, even terrible I would almost say. No sign of the cross, no scapular was enough to halt the most ugly temptation one could imagine; he was so horrifying that I closed my eyes and never opened them again until I was absolutely freed.
My God, if I am without sin, I owe it only to you. You be thanked. What to say in those moments? To look for Jesus and not find him is a greater penance than the temptation itself. What I feel only Jesus knows, who watches secretly and is pleased. At a certain point when it seemed the temptation would take on more force, it came to mind to invoke the holy father of Jesus, and I shouted: "Eternal Father, for the blood of Jesus free me."
I don't know what happened; that good-for-nothing devil gave me such a strong shove that I fell off the bed, causing me to bang my head on the floor with such great force that I felt a sharp pain; I fainted and remained on the ground for a long time before regaining consciousness.
Jesus be thanked, that today also everything turned out in the best way, as He wished. The rest of the day went wonderfully. In the evening, as it happens to me many times, all my grave sins came to mind but with such enormity that I had to make a great effort not to cry out loud: I felt a pain more alive than I had ever undergone before. The number of my sins surpasses by a thousand fold my age and my capacity; but what consoled me is that I endured the greatest pain because of my sins, so that I wished this pain would never be canceled from my mind and never be diminished. My God! to what point my malice has reached!
This evening, to say the truth, I was awaiting Jesus--no way! No one showed up; only my guardian Angel does not cease to watch over me, to instruct me and to give me wise counsel. Many times during the day he reveals himself to me and talks to me. Yesterday he kept me company while I ate but he didn't force me like the others do. After I had eaten, I didn't feel at all well so he brought me a cup of coffee so good that I was healed instantly and then he made me rest a little. Many times I make him ask Jesus for permission to stay with me all night; he goes to ask and then he does not leave me until morning, if Jesus approves.
I may perhaps be wrong, but today I await a little visit from Brother Gabriel and if this is true, I have a lot to talk about with him. Jesus, give light, give light not to me but to Father Germano and to my confessor.
Wednesday, August 22
Yesterday my guardian Angel informed me that in the course of the day Jesus would come; he [the Angel] yelled at me, called me conceited, but then we made up quickly. I did not think further about Jesus' visit because I did not believe it; but in getting ready for evening prayers I felt in union with Jesus, who instantly reproached me sweetly, saying: "Gemma, don't you want me any more?" "Oh my God, my God," I answered him, "what do you mean, I don't seek you? I desire you everywhere, I want you, I seek you always, I yearn only for you."
Then right away it came to my mind to ask him: "But Jesus, you came tonight so that means you won't come tomorrow night?" He promised me that He would. But my confessor told me that my conscience would be responsible if I suffered and then did not feel well; if I feel well, I may suffer the usual hour with Jesus; if not, let Jesus come anyway but without making me suffer; I may stay with him and have compassion for him and take part with him in the deathly sadness he suffered in the Garden of Olives. Anyway, I shall obey.
Jesus also spoke to me, without my bringing it up, of the holy soul of Mrs. Giuseppina Imperiali. "Oh how dear she is to Me!" Jesus repeated. "See," He added, "how much she suffers, without a moment of peace. Happiness to her!" He left me with an ineffable sense of consolation, as usual.
For the grace of Jesus and for his infinite mercy, my guardian Angel does not leave me for even a tiny second. Yesterday I saw several angels: mine assisted me continuously and I saw another for another person, and here there certainly is no need to record further all the details; if obedience should require it, I shall be ready, but for now . . . that is enough . . . If necessary, I shall remember.
Thursday, August 23
Alas, evening comes and the usual coldness, the usual repugnance assails me; fatigue would want to win over me, but with a little effort I never want to neglect to do my duty.
Tonight Jesus placed his crown on my head at about 10:00, after I had been collected for a little while. My suffering, which in no way equals Jesus', was very strong: even all my teeth hurt; any movement brought a sharp pain; I thought I could not resist but instead I did, everything went well.
I offered those little penances for sinners and in particular for my poor soul. I begged Him to return soon. When he was about to leave, a contest sprang up between me and Jesus: which of us would be the first to visit (and I went first, I mean to Holy Communion) and together we said and we agreed that I would go to Him and He would come to me. He promised me the assistance of my holy Angel, and He left me.
Friday, August 24
Later Jesus returned to take back His crown but he came very early, saying I had already done a lot; and since I did not want to, because I did not keep it the usual number of hours, He answered that I was still little, and this is more than enough. I suffered continuously for several hours; Jesus caressed me a lot. At a certain point in our discussion I asked enlightenment for my confessor; on that point my guardian Angel had tattled on Jesus. The morning before he had told me how Father Germano is enlightened about me and how he cares for me. I mentioned this to Jesus without thinking, and Jesus did not know that my guardian Angel had told me this; he made a serious face and told me He did not want my guardian Angel to tattle on him.
While he was talking in this way, instead of being speechless, as happens when Jesus becomes serious or severe, I was taken, on the contrary, with more intimacy toward Him, and I asked: "Jesus, could you not ... " I kept quiet, thinking to make myself understood without speaking further, and Jesus did understand instantly and responded: "Do not be afflicted, my daughter: we will make use of Father Germano soon enough. Do you understand?" He asked. "Yes," I answered. And at the end he repeated these words: "Fear not, because soon we will use him." He raised His hand goodbye and disappeared.
Still later I went to church for the usual blessing but I felt tired; in fact I truly was, but it is not, as I've said many times, true tiredness; it is laziness, a lack of desire to pray. My guardian Angel whispered in my ear that I should pray even while sitting. At first I could not give in but he insisted a second time and so for obedience I remained sitting. For sure I was pleased about this, since I was unable to stay on my knees.
Last night he also made me understand that when Jesus complains about me because I do not do my meditation, He does not mean Thursday and Friday, He means the other days of the week; in fact it's true, because on those two days I never forget. I promised to be more conscientious, and he ordered me to bed, saying I was tired and I had to sleep. I urged him to stay with me but he made no promise, and in fact he did not stay.
"Now then," I said to him, "run to Jesus and plead with him, because tomorrow evening I must go to confession and I need to see him"; and he instantly responded: "And if Brother Gabriel should come?" "That would be the same," I answered. "Either Jesus or Brother Gabriel, one way or another I need a visit; beg Him to concede me this grace, I need it." "Can you tell me?" he asked. "As for you," I responded, "go to Jesus and tell him everything and then return and tell me." He nodded yes.
He had spoken to me a few minutes ago about Brother Gabriel and, as always, even just hearing about him made me happy all over, so I could not refrain from exclaiming: "Brother Gabriel, how long I have been awaiting him, how much I desire him!" 'Just so, because you have such a strong desire, Jesus does not want to satisfy you." Then, laughing, he instructed me that when Jesus came I should not let him know that I had a desire to see Brother Gabriel, in which case Jesus would grant my wish easily.
I realized he was kidding, because I know nothing can be hidden from Jesus.
"Show indifference," he repeated, "and you will see that Jesus will send him more often." "I won't be able to do that," I said. "I'll teach you; you have to talk like this to Jesus: If he comes, fine, if not, it's all the same." And in saying this he laughed heartily.
So I also repeated the phrase but I understood that he was having fun. He ordered me to bed, saying I had to stay alone that night, because if he stayed I would never get to sleep, and he left.
It's true, because when he is there I do not sleep: he teaches me so many things about Heaven and the night passes quickly, very quickly. But last night was not like that: he left me alone, and I slept, although I did awaken several times and instantly he said: "Sleep, otherwise I'm going away for real."
I heard loud thunderclaps, very loud, and I was afraid; so he came and made himself visible; he blessed me once again and I went back to sleep.
Saturday, August 25
During Communion this morning no consolation; I did everything coldly. Let the
holy will of my God be done. What will happen today? Jesus is not coming, and I don't even feel Him nearby. I go to bed and I see a guardian Angel approaching, whom I recognized to be mine; but I was overtaken with a bit of fear and an internal disquiet.
So many times fear assails me when I see someone appear but little by little this passes and ends in consolation. Yesterday, instead, my disquiet grew until, if someone touched me, I shook: something that never happens to me when it is truly my dear Angel. In short, I was uncertain about this when he asked me: "When are you going to confession?" "This evening," I answered. "And why? Why do you go so often? Don't you know that your confessor is a swindler?" Then I understood what was happening here and I made the sign of the cross several times; he struck me so severely that I shook. My Angel never speaks to me this way.
The combat lasted in this way for a long while and I promised that in spite of him I would go to confession, and in fact I went. I called Jesus, and my Mom, but what! No one. After a while my real guardian Angel appeared, obliging me to confess every detail and he specified two things to tell my confessor.
Distress and fear of the enemy vanished quickly and I calmed down until it was time to go to confession; I didn't want to go for anything. With effort I went but I was able to say very, very little. But I do want to tell everything, so I will write.
Last night my beloved Mother came, but Her visit was so short; nevertheless it consoled me greatly. I prayed to Her as much as I could on my own behalf, that She take me to Heaven, and I also prayed fervidly for other matters. How She smiled when I repeatedly called her Mom! She came near, caressed me, and left me in the company of my guardian Angel, who remained joyful and cheerful until morning.
Sunday, August 26
In the morning, after I left my room, he also left. I received Holy Communion without knowing anything of Jesus; during the morning I felt such a strong wish to cry that I had to hide myself out of the sight of others so they wouldn't notice. My soul felt uneasy and I did not know what to rely on. My God, how shall I begin to describe it! But it's for the best, because if this notebook of mine should fall into people's hands, they will recognize in me nothing other than a disobedient, bad person.
Yesterday, while eating, I raised my eyes and saw my guardian Angel looking at me with an expression so severe I was frightened; he did not speak. Later, when I went to bed for a moment, my God! He commanded me to look him in the face; I looked and then almost immediately I lowered my gaze, but he insisted and said: "Aren't you ashamed to commit sins in my presence? You certainly feel ashamed after you commit them!" He insisted I look at him; for more than half an hour he made me stay in his presence looking him in the face; he gave me some very stern looks.
I did nothing but cry. I commended myself to my God, to our Mother, to get me out of there, because I could not resist much longer. Every so often he repeated: "I am ashamed of you." I prayed that others would not see him in that state, because then no one would ever come near me; I don't know if others saw him.
I suffered for an entire day, and whenever I lifted my eyes, he always looked at me sternly; I could not collect myself for even a minute. That evening I said my prayers anyway, and he was always there watching me with the same expression; he let me go to bed, but he did bless me; he never abandoned me: he stayed with me for several hours, without speaking and always stern. I never did have the courage to speak a word to him; I only said: "My God, what shame if others should see my angel so angry!"
There was no way I could sleep last night; I was awake until after 2:00; I know, because I heard the clock strike. I stayed in bed, not moving, my mind turned to God but without praying. Finally, after the clock struck 3: 00, I saw my guardian Angel approaching; he placed his hand on my forehead and said these words: "Sleep, bad girl" I saw him no more.
Monday, August 27
This morning I received Holy Communion: I hardly had the courage to receive it. Jesus seemed to let me know a little about why my guardian Angel was acting this way: I had made my last confession badly. Unfortunately, this was true.
Tuesday, August 28
My guardian Angel remained very stern until this morning, after I revealed everything to my confessor. Upon my exiting from the confessional, he looked at me happily, with an air of kindness: I returned from death to life. Later he spoke to me on his own (I did not have the courage to question him) he asked me how I was, because I was not feeling well the night before. I answered that only he could cure me [Editors note: Gemma did not feel well because her Angel was angry at her due to the poor Confession she had previously made, hence she was seeking his forgiveness]; he came near, caressed me again and again, and said I should be good.
Repeatedly I asked him if he loved me as much as before and if he loved me despite everything; he answered in this way: "Today I am not ashamed of you, yesterday I was." I asked many times for forgiveness and he indicated that I was forgiven for every past action. Finally, I sent him to Jesus for three things: (1) If He was happy with me now? (2) If He had forgiven everything? (3) That He should rid me of this shame so that I could be obedient to my confessor.
He went away instantly and returned very late; he said Jesus was very happy; that He has forgiven me, but for the last time; as to the shame, he said Jesus responded with these exact words: "Tell her to obey perfectly." Later, then, I went to bed and after a little while I felt some remorse. I was thinking, it's true, on the subject of a meditation on the Passion, but in bed. My guardian Angel asked what I was thinking. "About the Passion," I answered, "what will Jesus say about me, who leads such an easy life, praying little, and in bed; in short, all my time in prayer I spend in bed?" Unfortunately, all this is true. He answered by asking what I thought. "It is laziness," I responded. But I promised that from that evening on I would never again pray in bed; except for the day that I was supposed to, out of obedience. Last evening and for the whole night he never left me, but with an agreement: I must be quiet and sleep. I did it.
Wednesday, August 29
Today there's one thing I shall do: I want to write a little note to Brother Gabriel; then I'll give it to my guardian Angel and await a reply. And we're going to do this without Jesus knowing; he himself said we will not tell Jesus anything.
And I did it: I wrote a very long letter; I spoke of all my experiences without leaving out anything; then I advised my guardian Angel that it was ready, and if he wanted to ... This evening, Wednesday, I placed it under my pillow, and this morning when I got up I didn't think about checking because I had better things in mind: I was going to Jesus. [to Mass -editor]
Thursday, August 30
As soon as I returned I looked, and how odd! The letter wasn't there anymore. I say odd because I heard from others that this is a strange happening; but to me it doesn't seem so. My guardian angel then asked me if I needed an answer. I laughed. "What else," I told him, "of course I need one." "All right," he said, "but until Saturday you can't have one." Patience, until Saturday then.
In the meantime, here I am at Thursday evening. Oh God! All my sins are paraded before me. What an enormity! Yes, all of you should know; my life until now has been a continuous series of sins. Always I see their great quantity, and the malicious intent with which I committed them, especially when Thursday evening approaches; they parade before me in a manner so frightening that I become ashamed and unbearable even to myself. So, especially that evening, I make resolutions and repent continuously; but then I keep none of them and return to my usual ways. A little strength, a little courage comes to me when I feel Jesus at the hour when he places the crown of thorns on me and makes me suffer until Friday evening, because this I offer for sinful souls, especially my own.
My guardian Angel warned me that the hour allowed to me for obedience had ended; what to do? Jesus would have stayed longer, but He saw clearly the embarrassing situation I found myself in. I reminded myself about obedience, and for obedience I should have sent Jesus away, because the hour was up. "Come on," said Jesus, "give me a sign now that you will always obey." So I exclaimed: "Jesus, you can go away because now I don't want you anymore." And Jesus smiled as He blessed me, along with all the members of the Sacra Collegio, and He commended me to my guardian Angel, and left me so happy that I cannot express myself.
As usual, that night I cannot sleep because I am united with Jesus, united more closely than usual, and also because I think my head aches a bit; I kept vigil together with my beloved Angel.
Friday, August 31
In the morning I ran to receive Holy Communion, but I could not say anything; I just stayed in silence; the pain in my head impeded me. My God, how much I lack in this! Jesus held back nothing on my behalf while I instead, in order not to suffer, avoid making even the slightest movement if I can. What would you say, my Jesus, about this laziness and ill will?
All morning I did nothing but rest. Day came and effortlessly I flew to Jesus; He lifted the thorns and asked if I had suffered much. "Oh, my Jesus," I exclaimed, "the suffering begins now because you go away. Yesterday and today, I took much pleasure because I felt close to You; but from now on, until You return, it will truly be constant suffering for me." I implored him "Come, my Jesus, come more often: I will be good, I will always obey everyone. Make me happy, Jesus." I suffered as I spoke this way because little by little Jesus was leaving me.
Finally after a short while He left me alone, once again in the usual state of abandonment. Toward evening I went to confession and the confessor, believing I was not feeling well, because I had been suffering some, ordered me to go to bed as soon as I entered my room, and he ordered me to sleep, without speaking with my guardian Angel (because sometimes we would talk for hours on end), and that I should sleep.
I went to bed but I could not fall asleep out of the curiosity I had; I wanted to ask my guardian Angel so many things, and I waited for him to speak on his own, but no way! All he told me was to go to sleep, several times. Finally I fell asleep.
Saturday, September 1
This morning on his own he awakened me early and said that today I would
have an answer. "How?" I asked. "You will see," he said, laughing.
For all of today I stayed without any temptations; toward evening one suddenly came over me, in the ugliest manner. But here I don't think it would be good to tell, because it's too ...
Who would have imagined that my beloved Mother would come to see me? I wasn't even thinking about it because I believed my bad conduct wouldn't allow it; but She took pity on me and in a short time I felt collected; following this collection, as so often happened, my head took off. I found myself (I thought) with Our Lady of Sorrows. What happiness in those moments. How dear to pronounce the name Mom! What sweetness I felt in my heart in those moments! Let whoever is able to, explain it. It seemed to me, after a few minutes of commotion, that She took me in her lap and made me rest my head on Her shoulder, keeping me there a while. My heart in that moment was filled with happiness and contentment; I could desire nothing more. "Do you love no one but Me?" She asked from time to time. "Oh no," I answered, "I love someone else even more than You."
"And who is that?" She asked, pretending not to know. "It's a person who is most dear to me, more than anything else; I love Him so much I would give up my life this very instant; because of Him I no longer care about my body." "But tell me who He is," She asked impatiently. "If You had come the evening before last, You would have seen Him staying with me. But You see, He comes to me very rarely while I go to him every day, and I would go even more often if I could. But do you know, dear Mother" I said, "why He does this? Because He wants to see whether at so great a distance I might become capable of not loving Him anymore; instead, the further away He is, the more I feel drawn to him." She repeated: "Tell me who He is." "No, I won't tell you," I responded. "You should see, dear Mom, how his beauty resembles yours, your hair is the same color as His." And it seemed my Mom was caressing me as She said, "But, My daughter, who are you talking about?" And I exclaimed loudly: "Don't you understand me? I'm talking about Jesus. About Jesus," I repeated even more loudly. She looked at me, smiling, and she hugged me tightly to her:
"Go ahead and love Him, love Him very much, but love only Him." "Don't be afraid," I said, "no one in the world shall taste my affections, only Jesus."
She hugged me again and it seemed like She kissed me on the forehead; I awoke and found myself on the floor, with the crucifix nearby.
Whoever reads these things, I repeat again, should not believe, because they are all my imagination; nevertheless I agree to describe everything, because I am bound by obedience, otherwise I would do differently. I believed that from day to day the repugnance I experience in writing certain things would finally cease, but instead it always increases: it is a punishment such that I cannot withstand, I almost die from it.
Sunday, September 2
Tonight I slept with my guardian Angel by my side; upon awakening I saw
him next to me; he asked me where I was going. "To Jesus," I answered.
The rest of the day went very well. But my God, toward evening what happened! My guardian Angel got serious and stern; I could not figure out the reason, but he, from whom nothing can be hidden, in a stern tone (at the moment when I started to recite my usual prayers) asked me what I was doing. "I am praying." "Who are you waiting for?" (becoming yet more serious). Without thinking, I said: "Brother Gabriel." Upon hearing me pronounce those words he started to yell at me, saying I was waiting in vain, just as I could wait in vain for the response [to my letter] because ...
And here I remember two sins I had committed during the day. My God, what sternness! He pronounced these words more than once: "I am ashamed of you. I will end up by not coming to you anymore, and maybe ... who knows if even tomorrow." And he left me in that state. He made me cry so much. I want to ask forgiveness but when he is that angry, there is no way he wants to forgive.
Monday, September 3
I did not see him again that night, nor this morning; today he told me to adore Jesus, who was alone, and then he disappeared again.
This evening it was much better than the evening before; I asked him many times for forgiveness and he seemed willing to forgive me. Tonight he stayed with me constantly: he repeated that I should be good and not give further disgust to our Jesus, and when I am in his presence, I should try to be better.
END OF GEMMA'S DIARY
The Diary of St Gemma Galgani along with Gemma's Autobiography has been published into one book and is being offered through this website here.