Thursday 13 April 2017

# Saints

Saint Gemma Galgani

The 11th of April is the feast day of Saint Gemma Galgani. She is the patron saint of Students, Pharmacists, Paratroopers and Parachutists, loss of parents, those suffering back injury or back pain, those suffering with headaches/migraines, those struggling with temptations to impurity and those seeking purity of heart.

Saint Gemma Galgani lived between 1878 and 1903. She was born in Italy to a large family, the fifth of eight children to a wealthy pharmacist. However, her mother and three of her siblings died of tuberculous, and her father died when she was only 18. This left Gemma to help care for her younger siblings. She tried to enter the religious life as a Passionist, rejecting two marriage proposals whilst being a housekeeper. She was denied entry to the Passionist due to her poor health and instead, became a Tertiary member of the Order. She developed spinal meningitis but was healed, this was attributed to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the intercession of Saint Gabriel to Our Lady of Sorrows and Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque. She experienced visions and was visited by her guardian angel, Jesus and the Virgin Mary. She was known as a great mystic and developed stigmata at the age 21. She died on the Vigil of Easter at the age 25.