Two letters of Saint Gemma to Father Germanus


Recently Translated Letters of St Gemma to Ven. Father Germano C.P


Sunday, July 20, 1902

My good Dad,

Here I am before you. How many things you will hear! Pray a lot, my dear Dad, that Jesus may enlighten you with a true light. I shall withhold noth­ing, I will do as you say, I will be good, I will be docile; help me, the need for your aid grows daily. Now that you're in Rome, ask Serafina to pray for me.

My dear Dad, is Jesus pleased with my soul? I stay always united with him. Beloved Jesus! my all in this miserable world! What gives me a little pause is that while I receive Communion continuously, the angelic bread has not communicated internally to me all those benefits it grants with abun­dance to so many other souls. And I know the reason why: it is because my few virtues are weak and I come to Jesus with no merit. Help, help, my dear Dad! Today I could have arrived at higher levels of merit but instead I went backward, to the detriment of my wretched soul. This tepidity I encoun­tered this morning; I will try to repent.

Sometimes, can you believe it, dear Dad, I tremble and turn bright red when I think of how impure I am when I receive Jesus, who is the essence of purity. And surely it is for this that beside the fire of Jesus I am colder and colder.
But Jesus, my dear Jesus, loves me even this way, and continuously makes himself felt to my soul. I have only one good thing, dear Dad and it is good intentions; those at least I think I feel. And since Jesus tells me this greatly helps one who is weak and poor like I am, so I hope it will be pleasing to one who is strong and great like Jesus.

Now it is time to begin to recount a few little things. Listen, dear Dad, let me understand what comes from God; do all you can so that the enemy will have no part in anything. The morning of the 12th, it was around 8:45, all of a sudden I felt collected and I thought I heard her, Mother Giuseppa calling me. [Mother Giuseppa was a Passionist Sister and Mother of a Passionist convent in Italy who had died a short time previously –cf Gemma’s autobiography –editor], calling me. For a few moments I was distracted but when certain things be­fall me, I have to give in. I found myself in a few minutes before Jesus, to­gether with Mother Giuseppa. Finding myself near such a saintly soul, I fully understood my wretchedness and my weakness, I knew my nothingness be­fore God, and turning to her, Mother Giuseppa, I begged like this: "Oh chosen soul, you who take pleasure in your Jesus, being his bride, you have made him your heart's beloved; I turn to your mercy, that you may aid me with Jesus. Offer some prayers to him for me."

My Dad, I thought that saintly soul asked me what I would like to say to Jesus. And I thought... "Use, oh dear Mother, a little of your great fervor to be­seech for my soul, the unhappiest and neediest of souls, the forgiveness of sins; beseech that pardon which my soul does not know how to deserve; in­terceed with your pure love, and you will see that nothing is denied you; apply the merit of your charity, by which you will be able to obtain everything for me. If you do not wish to do these things for me, do them in adoration to God, Whose honor is the sole object of all your concerns."We passed a few minutes in silence; then I heard Mother Giuseppa truly praying for me. Then I continued: "What do you say, saintly soul, will you pray for me, will you do all these things for me? But to what end though since I place obstacles to this grace? ... "
That soul promised me everything. Oh if she could truly obtain for me from God the pardon of so many sins! Sins, sins, flee from me! You will no longer have a place in the heart you profaned for so long with your abomi­nations! Beloved Jesus, I want to amend my ways, have compassion for me, forgive me!


I suffered so much in these days, Dad; pains enough to die, but now they calmed down. Long live Jesus. The devil, that good-for-nothing, is giving me trouble, he wants to ... but Jesus makes me so calm with his words that the enemy with all his efforts cannot take away my confidence in God, my faith in you, not even for a moment.
You know where the devil also approached? On that permission I asked for and that you denied me. He suggested as follows: "How Jesus would be pleased if you no longer indulged in any comforts! You think you are pro­gressing this way? Your life is too easy. If you do not make penance to pay for your sins, you will have to stay a long time in Purgatory, if you're lucky! Hell is always open for the lazy, etc. etc." Oh Dad, notwithstanding all this chatter I am calm, at peace; my faith is in you, and I would go straight to Hell rather than disobey. Answer me clearly. And Serafina, have you seen her? ... What does Jesus say? ... Fiat voluntas tua for always, beloved Jesus. Oh dear Dad, think of my soul; I shall think of yours.


You already know, it's true, that for two straight days, the 14th and the 15th, I had a little visit from my beloved angel. Who would have guessed? He came upon me unexpectedly; I was resting with Jesus. Seeing him dis­turbed me a little, and I was overcome with fear. I said: "If you have been sent by God, come and I shall receive you but if you are sent by the devil, I'll spit in your face." He then smiled and gave adoration to the majesty of God, then he made a salute to the Holy Trinity. Dear Dad, how I am left when such visits happen! I am left ... I don't know how to express it. In his presence I was ashamed to have shown no reverence toward him, no devotion; I summoned my courage and asked his forgiveness, saying he should pardon me because in his presence I had sinned, because to his tender love I had preferred love of myself How many times he had suggested that I change my life, and I never listened! How many times he had suggested that I not offend the infinite goodness, who wished to communicate with my soul, and instead I continued! Oh God! In the presence of my good angel I made almost a full confession (so to speak). How much love he showed me! He looked at me so affectionately! ... And when he was about to leave (which I realized because he came near and kissed me on the forehead), I begged him not to leave me quite yet, and he said: "I have to go." "Be on your way," I said, "say hello to Jesus." He gave me one last look, saying: "I do not want you to engage in long conversations with people: when you want to talk, talk with Jesus and with your angel."


The next day, at the same hour, without my thinking, there he was again. My God! Give light to my Dad and I will believe only in him. He came near, caressed me, and something made me say with all my affection: "My angel, how much I love you!" "And why do you love me?" he asked me. "I love you because you teach me humility and because you keep internal peace in my heart. If on occasion I am bad, beloved angel, do not get angry; I want to be grateful, you know, first to Jesus and then to you." "Yes ... " he con­tinued, "I shall be your sure guide; I shall be your inseparable companion. Do you not know," he asked, "who gave you to me in custody?" "Yes," I responded, "my merciful Jesus." And here both of us stayed with Jesus. Oh if you had been there, my dear Dad! Dad, Dad, pray for me. Call my angel, and you will see what he says.
Now you think I'm finished, but slow down ... I want a tiny little per­mission this time. You will see, Jesus will say yes right away when you ask him. It is necessary. I pray you, reflect on it and write.

You see, dear Dad, you will think that I am one of those who talk very little, right? Just the opposite. I hear a conversation and I say my part; I hear something bad said about a person, and I need to say my part, and a hun­dred other things; the worst is when I invent (no, not invent), when I initi­ate conversations. How many sins, how much gossip, and who knows how many slanders. Do you want me to avoid them, my dear Dad? Make me promise Jesus to keep a rigorous silence, not to speak unless I am asked and then only for necessity. Oh, the devil will wage war on me, but Jesus will help me.

Now you must be saying to yourself: "Look how silly that Gemma is! Who put this in her head? Certain things are not for her; they will only be the occasions for greater sins because I who know well how fragile she is, I know she cannot observe them." Oh Dad, you are right, but I hope in Je­sus. He will help me, because for me this thing is necessary. I don't ask lightly about certain permissions, you know? Don't you know that before asking I test them? I fall, I fall and fall again, but Jesus is with me.
Bless me strongly, very strongly, dear Dad, at every moment. Write to me, I need so much advice about the path to follow.
Did you see Serafina? Have her pray for me. Hold me tightly. My dear Father, if you feel me stray, hold on to me. My body continues to consume me, but since I eat a little, it's going more slowly.
Goodbye, my dear Dad, bless your poor Gemma
[P.S.] The angel gave me a few drops of a white liquid in a golden goblet to drink, saying this was the medicine a doctor in Heaven used to heal infirmities.

Letter to Father Germanus
Sunday, July 27, 1902

My dear Dad,


Long live Jesus! Here I am again, as usual. Yesterday when I was about to leave the confessional, Monsignor gave me a certain order . . . He said:
"When you return to Lucca [from vacationing in Viareggio], as soon as you arrive, tell Mrs. Cecilia to call the family doctor to visit you, because you are sick."
For obedience I did so; whatever Mrs. Cecilia does, I submit gladly.

Dad, my Dad ... my everything after Jesus. My good angel will tell you the rest ...
We returned yesterday from Viareggio and found your letter. About me, my experiences, my permissions you say nothing? ... If Jesus wishes and if you have time, I'm waiting; if not, it's all the same.
Dear Dad, Jesus continues, even increases, his sweetnesses toward this vile creature: each day instead of offering me a chalice of grief he offers me a chalice of relief, of comfort, of joy, and of love.
The last two days have been a bit topsy-turvy. I looked at the others in the house, for example Annetta and Eufemia and I thought: how I would like to live as they live, without anything extraordinary and a thousand strange ideas.
Jesus, right at suppertime, returned my peace with these words: "Daugh­ter, are you not pleased to do my will?" My calm returned and I dwelt on it no further.
My health goes ... as Jesus wishes: I retain food well, I eat what is nec­essary for me, but my body is not yet fully healed. Dad, the monsignor, see­ing me so thin, seeks a doctor; but this time it is for bad ends ... He wants me to undergo a complete examination; they either fear I will die, or else ...
According to Jesus, this is the time I will feel well, but the time will be very brief. What will follow, when? ... Quickly, quickly, my God! Quickly, Dad! [Editors note: In September, less than 2 months after this letter, Gemma fell gravely ill and after 7 months of intense suffering she died on Holy Saturday April 11, 1903. +]
In the morning, after Communion, let me know from Jesus if you wish me to send a note with my good angel. I have one thing to say: if he tells you, then there is no need to write but if he does not, then let me know, so I can send my angel with a letter. Jesus will let me know.'
Bless me strongly, very strongly.
I am your poor Gemma


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


Some words of Saint Gemma:


-“Often I seem to be alone, but really I have Jesus as a companion. I try to deprive myself of everything, but instead I find all. I shun all the pleasures of life, and I happen on One so great that I am utterly happy. I am always on fire with love, and I always want to love more. I suffer, and never have enough of it. I long to live and I long to die. I experience love, but my Lover I do not un­derstand. I cannot fathom Him, being thus ignorant. Still I can sense that He is an immense good, a prodigious good: -Jesus!”


-“I wish that my heart could beat, that I could live and breathe only for Jesus. I wish that my tongue could utter no other name than that of Jesus; that my eye could see only Jesus; that my pen could write only about Jesus, and that my thoughts could soar to nothing but Jesus. I have often won­dered where on earth there might be some­thing on which I could center my love. But neither on earth nor in heaven do I find any such thing but only my beloved Jesus.”


-“Paradise is waiting for us. If living for Jesus on earth makes us so happy, what must heaven be like where we shall see Him in all His infinite greatness, goodness and beauty? I hope for mercy from this Jesus, mercy for me and for all poor sinners. If I could, I would atone for all their sins and mine.”


-“Let us recall, my dear Sister, that we are disciples of this Jesus who suffered so much. It is not enough to look at the cross, or wear it: we must carry it in the depth of our heart. Together, let us visit Jesus Crucified; let us look at Him; He is lifted up on the cross. If Jesus is nailed there. let us not complain if we must stand at His feet…..My poor Jesus! I wish I had a heart composed of all the hearts that love You most, so that I might show You my sympathy and help You. How­ever, I consecrate to you all the powers of my poor body, and all the love of my miserable heart.


-“May it never be said that we would fail Jesus and leave Him alone on the road to Calvary. Let us stay with Him, not as far as Calvary but to the cross and death. Let us together rush to the cross. to new crosses. Let us put our arms around them and say: Oh holy cross! If we remember the immeasurable love with which Jesus greeted you, we would never part with you again.”


-“I am the fruit of your passion, Jesus: born of your wounds. Oh Jesus, seek me in love; I no longer posses anything; you have stolen my heart…..I always say to myself that to love is to suffer; you give the cross to the ones you love. Treat me as your Father treated you. Jesus, compel me to drink the cup of your sorrows to the last drop: give me a little at a time.”


-“…so Jesus, do not leave these poor sinners to themselves. I am willing to do something. You died on the cross; make me die too. These sinners are your sons and daughters. And since they are, do not abandon them. Jesus; I want them all to be saved. If you desert them, there is no hope. Must not I be the one to suffer for them? Then arrange it so. You have so many sinners, but so few victims.”

-St Gemma Galgani

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful! Thank you so much for taking the time to post this on the internet. I read a friend's Facebook post about St. Gemma, then I read her biography online and was saddened because I thought I would not be able to have access to her letters online. But, I do thanks to you. God bless and thank you.

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Anonymous,
Thank you for your kind comment. I am so glad to hear that you are enjoying the website, and growing in your devotion to St Gemma.

I pray that St Gemma may always be close to you, and may she lead you ever closer to Jesus.
Union in the Hearets of Jesus and Mary,
Glenn Dallaire

Follow by Email

ShareThis