Diary of St Gemma July 1900

Saint Gemma’s diary dated July 1900
Part 1

This evening at last, after six days of absence of Jesus, since it was Thursday, I began my hour of prayer*, thinking of Jesus on the Cross. Then it hap­pened. I found myself with Him suffering and I felt a great desire to suffer and asked Jesus to give me this grace. He granted it; He approached me, took from His head the crown of thorns and placed it upon mine, and then went aside. I looked at Him silently for I was think­ing; Perhaps He did not love me any more, because He had not pressed the crown down hard upon my head as He had done at other times. Jesus understood and pressed it upon my temples. They were painful but happy moments. I then spent an hour with Jesus. I should have liked to continue with Him thus all night, but Jesus loves obedience very much; He Himself always submits to obedience, so when the hour was up He left me. Generally Jesus took the crown off when He was leaving; this time, however, He left it until about four o'clock the following afternoon.
(*Gemma made a holy hour every Thursday evening, since her miraculous cure, something she had promised to do. She made this holy hour every Thursday until her death. –editor)

By four o'clock today I was tired of suffering. I presently found myself with Jesus, Who came beside me and was not sad as on the previous night; He caressed me and lifted the crown from my head. I then felt less pain; but when He put it upon His own head I felt no pain at all. My strength returned and I felt even better than before I began to suffer.

We talked of many things and during our conversation I asked Him not to make me confess to Father Vallini, because I did not like to. Jesus seemed disappointed, and told me that I should go at once. I promised I would. He showed His heart to me and said "I love you greatly because you are like me." "In what way, Jesus?" I asked, "because I seem so unlike you." "In accepting humilia­tions," He replied. Then there returned to me a vision of my past life. I saw my pride. It was always one of my greatest defects. When I was little, wherever I went I al­ways heard it said that I was very proud. But what means Jesus has used to humiliate me, especially during this past yearl At last I understand what God was doing with me. May Jesus be always thanked. Then iny God added that with time He would make a saint of me. Of this last I will say no more for that is impossible to happen to me. He told me of something to say to the confessor and blessed me. I knew Jesus would be away from me for some days. But how good He is! Scarcely had He gone when my Angel Guardian appeared, who with his con­tinual charity, vigilance, and patience assists me. Oh Jesus, I have promised always to obey you. I affirm it anew.

My dearest Mother of Sorrows came to pay me a little visit as she is accustomed to on Saturday.

She seemed very unhappy and looked as if she had been weeping. Then she smiled, saying to me:
"Gemma, do you wish to repose on my breast?" I ap­proached her and knelt; she raised me, kissed me on the forehead and disappeared.
This evening, after confessing to Father Vallini, I felt suddenly agitated and disturbed; it was a sign that the devil was near. Later, internally and also externally, I was all in a tempest; I should have preferred to go to bed and sleep rather than to pray, but no, I began to say three invocations, which I usually say every evening to the Sacred Heart of Mary. The enemy, who had been hidden for some hours, appeared in the form of a very small man, but so horrible that I was almost overcome with fear.
Continuing to pray, all at once I began to feel many blows on the shoulder which continued for about half an hour. Then my Angel Guardian came and asked me what the matter was; I begged him to stay with me all night, and he said to me, "But I must sleep." "No," I replied, "Angels of Jesus do not sleep." "Nevertheless," he replied, smiling, "I ought to rest. Where shall you put me?" I begged him to remain near me.

I went to bed; after that he seemed to spread his wings and come over my head. In the morning he was still there.

The devil, in the form of a great black dog, put his paws upon my shoulders, making every bone in my body ache. At times I believed that he would mangle me; then one time, when I was taking holy water, he twisted my arm so cruelly that I fell to the earth in great pain.

After a while I remembered that I had around my neck the relic of the Holy Cross. Making the Sign of the Cross, I became calm. Jesus let me see Himself, but only for a short time, and He strengthened me anew to suffer and struggle.

At dinner time, there had come to me an evil thought which my Angel understood and he said to me; "Daugh­ter, do you wish me to go away?" I was ashamed. These words I heard very distinctly and I did not know whether or not others also heard him.

While in church yesterday, he reprimanded me, say­ing: "The glory of Jesus and the place where you are, merit another kind of conduct," because at that time I had raised my eyes to look at two children, to see how they were dressed.

Last night, while in bed, He reproved me again, say­ing, that instead of progressing in his teachings I was becoming constantly worse and continually slackening in well-doing.
I am always conscious when these things happen to me. It seems to me that no matter what I do, I do not suc­ceed in preparing myself for the visit of the Mother of Sorrows or *Brother Gabriel.
(*St Gabriel Possenti -editor)

I went to bed, I slept, and slept well; after a quarter of an hour, for my sleep is always brief, I saw at the foot of my bed, on the ground, that usual ominous black creature, very black, very small. I knew who it was and said, "Have you begun again the business of not letting me sleep?" "What, sleep, why don't you pray?" he replied.
"I shall pray later," I said. "Now it is time to sleep."
"For two days you have not been able to be recollected; well, let's do what I want." He began to give me blows, until he jumped up suddenly and rolled on the ground. I do not know what happened but I smiled for I did not have any fear of him today; he said, "Today I can do nothing to you but I'll take care of you another time."I asked him: "Why can't you? If you can do it other times, why can't you now? I know-I am the same, but I have Jesus (the relic) on my neck."
Then he said to me: "What have you in this room? Take off the belt* (Saint Gabriel's) you wear and then we shall see."(*St Gabriel Possenti had, recently in a vision, given Gemma his belt that the Passionists wear –editor)

I insisted that I had nothing but I knew what he meant. After this, I smiled at him as he stood there de­voured with rage. He told me that if I prayed I would suffer all the more.
"It doesn't matter," I said, "I suffer for Jesus."

In short, today I was much entertained by him. I saw him very angry; he has sworn to make me pay for it.

He waited until this evening, but by the grace of God he was not able to remain very long; he gave me three violent blows so that afterward going to bed took much time. At certain times he ran off and with such fear that I did not know what the matter was.
I myself, was scarcely able to move.

How often I called Jesus! But he did not come; I prayed that my Angel Guardian should lead me to Jesus, but everything was in vain. He said to me: "Tonight Jesus will not come to bless you nor will I."
I was frightened then because if Jesus did not bless me I could not get up .... He saw that I was about to weep and said: "But you know, Jesus will send someone. And if you knew who it was, how happy you would be."

My mind flew at once to Brother Gabriel. I asked him, but he made no reply, he kept me in suspense for some time. At last he said to me: "But if Jesus does send Brother Gabriel to bless you, what will you do? Do not speak to him if you do not want to disobey the Confes­sor." "No, I will not speak," I replied impatiently, "but how can Brother Gabriel bless me?" "It is Jesus who sends him; he has sent him other times to bless you. But will you manage to be silent and obey?" "Yes, yes, I will obey; let him come."

After a little while Brother Gabriel came. What a frenzy seized me then! I wanted to speak to him, but I was good and checked myself*. He blessed me with cer­tain Latin words which I have remembered well, and then he suddenly departed. Oh, then I could not help saying: "Brother Gabriel, ask our Mother to bring you to me Saturday." He turned to me smiling and said:
"You are to be good," and saying this took from his waist his black belt and said "Do you want it again?" I wanted it very much indeed: "That helps me so much when you let me wear it; please give it to me now." He shook his head to indicate that he would give it to me Saturday and left me. He told me that the belt was the one which had liberated me from the devil the night before.
(*During this period, St Gemma’s confessor, Monsignor Volpi, had ordered Gemma not to speak to any of the persons in her visions, although she was allowed to speak to her Angel –Editor)

It happened today as usual. I had gone to bed, in fact I was asleep, but the devil did not wish this. He presented himself in a disgusting manner; he tempted me but I was strong. I commended myself to Jesus asking that He take my life rather than have me offend Him. What horrible temptations those were! All displease me but those against Holy Purity make me most wretched. Afterward he left me in peace and the Angel Guardian came and assured me that I had not done anything wrong. I com­plained somewhat, because I wished his help at such times, and he said that whether I saw him or not, he would be always above my head. Also, yesterday he promised that in the evening Jesus would come to see me.
Yesterday evening I waited with impatience for the mo­ment to go to my room; I took the crucifix and went to bed. My Angel was willing to have me go to bed be­cause of the order of the Confessor. I felt myself becoming recollected. Jesus came and stood by my side. What beautiful moments those were!

I asked Him if He would love me always, and He re­plied with these words: "My daughter, I have enriched you with so many beautiful things without any merit on your part and you ask me if I love you? I fear so much for you." "Why?" I asked. "Oh daughter, on the days when you enjoy My presence you are all fervor, it costs you no fatigue to pray. Now instead you are wearied by prayer and negligence in your duties seeks to insinuate itself in your heart. Oh daughter, why do you speak thus? Tell me, in the past, did prayer seem long as it does now? Some little penance you do, but how long you wait be­fore resolving upon it."

Finally I commended His poor sinner to Him. He blessed me and in going away said to me: "Remember that I have created you for Heaven; you have nothing to do with the earth."


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.

"There remains only Jesus...Jesus alone! How good is His mysterious love that never tires! And in me He finds nothing but weakness, misery and sins, yet He loves me, loves me so much! He does not cease to let me hear His voice in my heart, to let me live in His dear Presence; truly so great is the hapiness that I experience, that at times I feel myself leaving this world. And, more and more I want to leave this earth and be taken to Heaven. Oh Paradise!.....there where there is only one thing to do; to love. -St Gemma Galgani

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