A testimony in honor of Saint Gemma

Ash Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dear Glenn Dallaire,

I am sending this testimony to you, for you to post on your website, if
you choose to do so.

About this time last year (first half of 2011) I contacted you by your
mailing address and shared with you that I was strongly drawn to Saint
Gemma Galgani, although I did not know why at that time. I requested Holy
Cards and a medal of Saint Gemma. I received them in a timely manner, of
which I thank you again.

Shortly after I received them, during my monthly appointment with my
Spiritual Director and Father Confessor, I shared with him that I was
strongly drawn to this Italian Saint, and, in short, introduced him to
Saint Gemma, but, I did not know why I was so drawn to her.

Fast forward to November, 22, 2011, I was medically diagnosed with "Spinal
stenosis", as well as a collapsed vertebrae in my lower Lumbar (L-5) and
lesser spinal concerns, all causing a serious concern to me in several
life areas; one being, as I am Sacristan at a monastery. After receiving
the news, I asked myself, how am I going to daily get through my
responsibilities in the midst of this advancing spinal pain?

It wasn't until I revisited your website promoting Saint Gemma that I
realized that she is the Patron Saint of spinal ailments, spinal injuries,
spinal diseases, as well as headaches and migraine sufferers. I finally
got the connection! Glenn, I have never been the same since. This recent
diagnoses, has humbled me in a way I never would have expected. As Saint
Gemma's hand is extended to me, I yield in response to God's Will as I
reach out to take the hand of this young Italian Saint. I can truly say
that Saint Gemma has become a close, personal friend of mine, on three
specific accounts; she is the Patroness of:
1) Those suffering with back injury or back pain (arthritis, spinal
disease, spinal injuries, headaches and migraines).
2) Those struggling with temptations due to severe demonic attacks
(specifically those striving for greater purity).
3) Greatly feared by the evil spirits and very strong in spiritual warfare.

I now daily walk with Saint Gemma in a deeply personal way, and it is most
comforting to me that we walk together, through my pain and my many
hospital appointments.

Since I have broken the news of my medical diagnose to my family and
friends, I have introduced them all to Saint Gemma. I know God is moving
in a most wonderful way in my life.

May God be glorified as we daily walk together, hand in hand - confidence
in every step!

Saint Gemma pray for us!

Brother Michael O.S.B.
Saint Bernard Benedictine Abbey

"Enjoy the fragrance of eternal life, breathed on you by means of the Sacraments."
- Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor.


Glenn Dallaire said...

Here is a copy of my email reply to Brother Michael Keith:
Dear Brother Michael Keith,
It is really nice to meet you.
Thanks so much for sharing a bit of your life story and expecially for sharing about your spinal stenosis. I am sure that these past few months have been a very difficult trial, but I am very happy to see how Jesus has led you to St Gemma in preparation for it, and I pray that your devotion to her will continue to grow. Jesus is so good, isn't He? He gives us His beloved Saints, in our case most especially Gemma, to teach us how to love Him, and to sacrifice and suffer at times out of love for Him. For as you have discovered by reading her holy life, Gemma loved Jesus with all of her heart, and now from her place in heaven, Jesus gives us to her, that she may teach and inspire us to follow in her holy footsteps, and to try to love Him like she did during her holy lifetime. For like our most Blessed Mother, the Queen of Saints, Gemma too leads us to Jesus, and helps us to love and serve Him, while at the same time obtaining graces for us to help us to overcome our many sins and faults.

And yes, Gemma is very much the patron Saint for those who suffer with spinal/back illnesses and injuries because as you well know, Gemma herself suffered terribly from a spinal disease as you have discovered, she had a tumor at the base of her spine which apparently affected her spinal fluid and additionally the physicians thought she had spinal meningitis or tuberculosis of the spine.

Anyway, she suffered incredible back pain and migraines and she wore a back brace for awhile, but she was eventually completely bedridden due to the progression of the spinal disease....the physician cauterized her spine in 12 places, but this only made things worse. And so, as you know, things came to a point where she was at the verge of death; her physician said she had only a short time left...but Jesus willed otherwise, and Jesus appeared to her and she was cured by Jesus on the first Friday of March (Sacred Heart).

And so, yes, Gemma is most definitely the patroness of those who suffer with back pain/spinal injuries, because of all she suffered herself with her spinal disease, having to wear a back brace etc, and eventually because of her failed back surgery and how she was completely bedridden due to her painful spinal disease.

So it is, Brother Michael, that you have a great friend and advocate in St Gemma for not only what concerns your spinal stenosis, but also the other areas of your life.

Finally I thank you once again for sharing your story, and your willingness to have it published on the St Gemma website. There have been many others with severe spinal injuries and diseases who have come to the website seeking comfort, solace, inspiration and encouragement from Gemma's life and holy intercession, and I am sure that others will find comfort and inspiration in your story also. [....]

May God bless you and your loved ones.
~St Gemma, pray for us!
Glenn Dallaire

Unknown said...

How will i pray to Gemma