About Saint Gemma Galgani (1878-1903):
Gemma Umberta Maria Galgani was born in to a fairly prosperous family on March 12, 1878, the fifth of eight children. Her mother contracted tuberculosis when Gemma was under the age of three and she was then placed in a private nursery school. Two of her siblings died when she was young and then her brother, Gino, also died from tuberculosis during a time when he was studying for the priesthood, and her mother died when she was 18.
At age 20, Gemma herself developed spinal meningitis……but was healed. She attributed the healing to the intercession of Venerable Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows as well as Saint Marguerite Marie Alacoque.
According to a biography written by her spiritual director, the Reverend Germanus Ruoppolo, CP (now a venerable), Gemma began to display signs of the stigmata on June 8, 1899, at the age of twenty-one. She stated that she had spoken with her guardian angel, Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and other saints—especially Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows. She also reported receiving special messages from them about current or future events.
Gemma was frequently found in a state of ecstasy. Among her many mystical experiences, she had also been reported to levitate. She was beatified by Pope Pius XI in 1933 and Canonized a Saint by Pope Pius XII in 1940. Her Feast Day is April 11th (or May 16th for those in the Passionist Congregation).
Both the church and the monastery are relatively new, begun in the 1950’s but not completed until 1965. The convent is populated by nuns of the community of Passionist nuns. Gemma Galgani lived here and was buried at the site after her death in 1903. Her relics are below the main altar.
Traveling to the Sanctuary of Saint Gemma in Lucca:
You could easilly make this a day trip by train from Florence, taking about 1 1/2 hours each way. Get train & bus schedules, see fares & buy tickets here.
Address: via di Tiglio, 271 55100 Lucca, Italy Porta Elisa
Tel/Fax: +39 0583 48815 (tel hours 09:00-11:00 & 16:00-17:30)
email: [email protected]
Click here for the official website of the Sanctuary of Saint Gemma
Check out this link to an online site offering many items related to Saint Gemma, including relics.