Pope John Paul II visit to the Monastery of Santa Gemma in Lucca, Italy


A photo album of Pope John Paul II visit to the Monastery-Sanctuary of St Gemma in Lucca, Italy for the 90th anniversary of the Stigmata given to Gemma.

On September 23, 1989 Pope John Paul II visited the Monastery-Sanctuary of St Gemma in Lucca, Italy for the 90th anniversary of the Stigmata given to Gemma. It was truly a meeting of two Saints. Gemma recieved the holy stigmata on June 8th, 1899 -See here for more info on the stigmata given to Gemma.

Upon his arrival at the Monastery-Sanctuary of St Gemma, Pope John Paul II blesses and then addresses all the faithful who gathered outside for this special day in honor of St Gemma. The Latin saying in the front facade of the Monastery reads "FECIT MIHI MAGNA QUI POTENS EST" which translated means "BECAUSE HE WHO IS MIGHTY HAS DONE GREAT THINGS FOR ME" (Luke 1:49), which surely commemorates perfectly all the extraordinary graces that God wrought in the life of St Gemma. (Note- You can click twice on any of the photos to enlarge them.)


On this memorable day, the Holy Father met with Mother Giovanna and the cloistered Passionist nuns at the Monastery and encouraged them to continue in their mission of sacrifice and prayers for the Church. He also spent some time in prayer and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, which was placed atop the main altar, above the holy remains of St Gemma, and afterwards he addressed all in attendence and gave a homily encouraging those present to imitate St Gemma in her love and complete devotion to God. The Holy Father then presented the Nuns with a parchment containing his special blessing upon their Community. For their part, the Passionist Nuns presented the Holy Father with a beautiful relic of St Gemma, along with an extraordinary "pergamena", which is a handmade parchment made from skins.


As a remeberance of this special day a plaque was made and placed inside the Monastery Church of St Gemma to commemerate this extraordinary occasion.



14 years later Pope John Paul II wrote a prayer for the intercession of St Gemma Galgani on the occasion of the centenary of the death of Saint Gemma on April 11, 2003. For this celebration he met with the Sisters of Saint Gemma and shared a prayer to Saint Gemma in honor of the special occasion:
"O Father, we ask you to establish your dwelling in those who love you with a heart pure and simple, that through the example and the intercession of St Gemma, we may live the pure Gospel and the mystery of a love crucified, to be the living image of your Son.
He who lives and reigns with You, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen. "
-Prayer of Pope John Paul II for the intercession of St Gemma

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I would like to thank Janice who kindly passed along a couple of copies of the magazine "SANTA GEMMA -ED IL SUO SANTUARIO" -EDITIONS 6 AND 10, which contained the beutiful photos and information below. -Webmaster

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"... Then my God added that in time He would make me a saint (I will say no more because it is impossible what God said would happen to me)”.

".... I love You Jesus, but if it is too little, make me love You more..."-St Gemma Galgani

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