St Gemma and the Prostitute

In her extraordinary love for Jesus, Gemma sought continuously to bring souls to Him through every means possible. Jesus had given her the mission of a soul victim to sacrifice and suffer for the conversion of sinners, and she did so with all the fibres of her heart.

There lived in the city of Lucca a woman who unfortunately felt constrained to offer herself for money. During this time, in the year 1899, Gemma was very ill and her family sought help in caring for her. Hoping to earn some additional money, the woman offered her assistance in caring for Gemma. She began assisting in the care of Gemma, however soon afterwards her family was informed of the womans reputation as a prostitute, and Gemma’s Aunt immediately sought to send her away.

Hearing of this, Gemma called her Aunt to her and said-
“Did Jesus reject the Magdalene because she was a sinner? Please let her continue to come. Who knows, perhaps we may succeed in doing her some good. I beg you, do not send her away”

Unable to resist the pleadings of Gemma her aunt gave in and allowed the woman to continue to care for Gemma. Knowing of Gemma’s illness and poverty during this time, Gemma’s other Aunt named Carolina who lived in Camaiore would occasionally send Gemma some money, to help with her medical expenses. Now Gemma, seeking every means possible to help this woman that she may no longer offend God by her sinful way of obtaining money, gave the woman this money on several occasions, even going so far as to pay the womans rent. Adding her fervent prayers to her deeds, she at last snatched the woman from the hands of the devil and obtained the womans conversion. In writing concerning this account several years afterwards, Ven Father Germanus adds that the woman made a general Confession and has since led a good life.

Gemma’s last victory for the conversion of sinners was a man of Lucca who she did not know personally, but whose obstanancy in sin was made manifest to her by a Priest friend. For many weeks durning her last illness, she prayed fervently to Jesus with her customary burning love for this gentleman’s conversion. Concerning him she said-
“I will carry him on my shoulders for the whole of Lent, then afterwards he will be taken off.”

On Holy Thursday, two days before her death, her Priest friend visited her and told her with great joy of the extraordinary conversion of this great sinner that had just occurred. Two days later Gemma flew to heaven having obtained another soul for her Jesus.

This article is taken primarily from the rare book “A Lover of the Cross –St Gemma Galgani” published in 1940 by the Passionist Nuns of the Monastery/Sanctuary of St Gemma in Lucca, Italy. Both stories are also contained in the book "The Life of St Gemma Galgani" by Venerable Padre Germanus CP.
“This one Jesus, this one… remember that I want him saved together with me. Please don’t forget Jesus, I want him saved together with me.” -St Gemma Galgani


gjpg said...

Thank you for your effort to make st. gemma known to many people. i am fortunate to have been named after her by my mom. i have never appreciated my name more than i do now. i have two other names from the blessed mother and st. joseph. i will keep you in my prayers always for this wonderful apostolate. God bless you.

Glenn Dallaire said...

Hi Gipg,
Thanks so much for your comments. Surely you are fortunate to be named after St. Gemma. May she be your special advocate and friend in heaven.
Thanks also for your prayers. I sincerely appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

I have loved and admired St. Gemma Galgani for years. She is such a role-model for young women today. I try to tell all about her. I do not have her name but I try to use it as much as I can on the internet. She should be known to all.