Friday, April 11, 2014

April 11: Saint Gemma Galgani

St. Gemma Galgani

History

Born in Italy in 1878, Gemma became very sick with meningitis when she was a teen. Good medical treatment for this disease had not been invented yet, so Gemma prayed and the Lord healed her. Then when she was 21, she got a strange pain in her hands, feet and heart. Wounds opened up in each spot, and blood oozed out. This is called “the stigmata” – when a person miraculously gets the same wounds that Jesus suffered on the Cross. Gemma would get them every Thursday night, and they would last until Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. Then the wounds would close, leaving a white mark until the following week.

Activity

Saint Gemma Galgani wanted so much to be united with Jesus in His sufferings that she actually received physical wounds for a couple years of her life. This doesn’t happen to most of us. However, there is a beautiful devotion called the Stations of the Cross that can help us deepen our appreciation and love for Jesus. Because today is a Lenten Friday, you should be able to find a parish in your community that is hosting Stations of the Cross. Attend with your family. It is not an easy devotion – there is a lot of kneeling that our bodies are not accustomed to – but offer yourself to Jesus and ask Him to open your mind and heart to the greatness of His mercy, the way Saint Gemma’s mind and heart were open.

Saint Gemma Galgani, pray for us!

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