From the Editor’s Desk (Thursday, 05-14-2015, Gaudium Press) Gema Maria Humberta Pia Galgani’s name was chosen by her uncle and godfather Mauricio, bringing together four things: a precious stone, the name of the Virgin Mary, the king of Italy and the late Pope Pius IX, as well as her family name. Born on March 12, 1878, she was baptized on the following day, surrounded by family members who would have never imagined that this girl was destined to suffer so much and that she would become a famous saint of the Passionist Congregation, founded by St. Paul of the Cross.
St. Gemma always stood out for her love of the Cross, the love of conquering souls for Jesus and her angelic purity.
Let us consider this brief event of her life where we can see how much the heart of this seraphic virgin burned with zeal for the salvation of souls:
Baffled by what was happening to Gema, Monsignor Volpi (who later was consecrated bishop) instructed Fr. Germano of St. Stanislaus to inquire about her and even to do an exorcism on her if necessary. Gema received him with joy, and during dinner, noticing that she was going to have an ecstasy, she stood up and went to her room. A few moments later, the sister of the owner of the house (where Gemma was residing) called Fr. Germano to enter her room and he saw the young woman in full ecstasy, talking to Jesus and urging him to convert a sinner whose name she clearly pronounced: “Jesus, I ask you for this sinner … Save him, Jesus! Why you do not have pity of him? I will not get up from here until you promise me that he will be saved.”
The supplications were many but it seemed that Jesus was saying to Gema that this sinner had exceeded all limits: “Jesus, I know that he committed many sins, but more sins I have committed and nevertheless you had mercy on me.” She continued begging for him and she started asking the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, until Gema’s face changed of expression and she appeared joyfully and exclaimed: “He was saved. Jesus, you have triumphed! Always triumphs like this! “
When he was back at home, Fr. Germano received a request of someone asking for confession: it was this sinner for whom Gema had been praying. The priest, after the confession, told the sinner what he had seen at Gema’s residence and he asked him permission to disclose what had happened.
St Gema Galgani, pray for us!
By Brother David A. Ayusso, Heralds of the Gospel