It is really no surprise to discover that the last words that Gemma ever wrote was a letter to the Blessed Virgin Mary, whom Gemma always affectionately called "my Mom". As we see in her life and in her writings, Gemma was a most loving and devoted daughter of Mary. Perhaps some of Gemma's most beautiful and inspiring words were recorded during the times when she was in ecstasy speaking to the Blessed Mother, as we see the article My Mother Crucified for example.
Given her great devotion to Mary, it is really no wonder then that her last writing was directed to her "heavenly Mom". This last letter was written on March 18, 1903, only 24 days before her death. She was already completely bedridden by this time, and suffering the extreme effects of tuberculosis, spitting up blood and struggling at times to breathe, her deteriorating lungs slowly filling with blood and fluid. It is no wonder then that her last letter reveals this torture, the pain and suffering of a soul victim making her final act of love and reparation, not only for her own sins, but the sins of countless others, known only to God. This is why in this letter she says-
"Dear Mother, so many victims are needed..."
In Gemma's last letter we find faith, hope, love, repentance, offering and resignation to God's will. It is a synthesis of virtue.
March 18, 1903
Pardon my calling you this. My weak condition continues but I am satisfied. Between fear and hope I abandon myself to God. "If I am always with you," Jesus says to me, "who then will be your conqueror? ... Why then, Daughter, does not your hope increase? Daughter, humble yourself under My powerful hand. Be certain that your prayers will always obtain some grace from Me; although your love might be little, I will increase it; although at first sight, your efforts seem to you to have borne no fruit. " At the last thing that He said to me: "Gemma, do not become weary through temptations but resist them always, without letting yourself to be overcome, and do not fear; if you resist temptation, and persevere in resistance, the battle will bring you victory."
Oh Mother, pray always to Jesus for me .... Dear Mother, I am not at all well, as you know: my life is consumed. And as to my soul?....Oh, God, I am tormented by wicked and impure thoughts, but Jesus tells me to turn to you, Mother saying, "Daughter, commend yourself daily to her; she will make you beautiful, gentle, amiable, because she can win souls and save them; she will make you tranquil and at peace." And in spite of these words, I lose spirit and cry.
I am so unworthy not only of the love of Jesus and of you, most Holy Mary, but of all the kindness of others, especially of my Father Germano and my dear foster mother [Cecilia Giannini –editor]. I give them both so little thought, and Cecelia is deeply hurt. Oh my God!...Oh my Jesus, do not abandon me, because I will be good...Dear Mother, so many victims are needed...
I have almost no fear of the devil, although many times I am alone, at night, full of fear, with convulsions and on the point of fainting, as if I had an enormous weight on me, and could not move, and a thousand other things. Moaning bitterly, I turn to Jesus, promising love; all of my love. Mother, I have promised many people to remember them before Jesus, but Jesus is hidden; He shows His love to me so little now, so you must not withdraw. I will say the ‘Nunc Dimittis’ at my last moments.
Mamma, (Forgive me for using this name which comes to my lips so often, I know not why.)
Oh Mother! Blessed be Jesus, Blessed be Mary... Jesus will soon vindicate His love for the most ungrateful of His creatures. Pray for me; tell Jesus I will be good and obedient; but I wish to go soon to Paradise if it is pleasing to Him.
Bless me, I am poor
I am in the apartment of my aunt; no longer with the Giannini's, but I am content and at peace in spirit.'
[Editors note: Because of the possibility of contagation from Gemma's tuberculosis, she was at this time living by herself in an apartment that her Aunt rented for her across the street from the Giannini's.]
This letter shows that Gemma had died to all creatures on earth in those moments of desolation, pain and suffering, and while waiting for Jesus she was no longer of this world at all. And on Holy Saturday, April 11, 1903 at 1:45pm her beloved Jesus finally came for the last time—this time to take her to be forever united with Him, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints in heaven for all eternity.
~St Gemma, pray for us!
"...Pray for me; tell Jesus I will be good and obedient; but I wish to go soon to Paradise if it is pleasing to Him." -St Gemma Galgani