The Stigmata of Saint Gemma Galgani (Autobiography)

Di Philippe Plet. Pubblico dominio, Collegamento

On the 8th of June35 after communion Jesus told me that that evening he would give me a very great grace. I went that same day to confession and I told Monsignor about it. He told me to be very attentive so that I could tell him all about it afterwards.

Evening came and all of a sudden, earlier than usual, I felt an interior sorrow for my sins far deeper than I had ever experienced before. In fact, it brought me very, very close to death. After this, all the powers of my soul became recollected. My intellect could think of nothing but my sins and the offense they gave to God. My memory recalled all my sins to mind and made me see all the torments that Jesus had suffered in order to save me. And my will made me detest them and promise to be willing to suffer anything in order to expiate them. My mind was flooded with thoughts, thoughts of sorrow, of love, of fear, of hope and of comfort.

Following on this interior recollection I was quickly rapt out of my senses and I found myself before my heavenly Mother. At her right stood my Guardian Angel who told me to make an act of contrition. When I had finished it my blessed Mother said to me: “Daughter, in the name of Jesus all your sins are forgiven.” Then she added: “Jesus my Son loves you very much and he wants to give you a grace. Do you know how to make yourself worthy of it?” In my misery I did not know what to answer. She continued: “I will be your Mother. Will you be a true daughter?” She spread her mantle and covered me with it.

At that moment Jesus appeared with all his wounds open. But blood no longer came out of those wounds. Rather, flames as of fire issued forth from them and in a moment those flames came to touch my hands, feet and heart. I felt as if I would die. I fell to the floor. But my Mother supported me keeping me covered with her mantle. I had to remain for several hours in that position. Then the Blessed Mother kissed me on the forehead, and it all disappeared and I found myself kneeling on the floor. But I still felt an intense pain in my hands, feet and heart.

I arose to lie down on the bed and I noticed that blood was flowing from those places where I felt pain. I covered these parts as best I could and then, with the help of my angel, I was able to get in bed. These sufferings and pains, although they afflicted me, filled me with perfect peace. The next morning I was able to go to communion only with great difficulty and I put on a pair of gloves in order to hide my hands. I could hardly stand on my feet and I thought I would die any minute. The sufferings continued until three o’clock Friday afternoon, the solemn feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.36

I should have told these things to my confessor at once but instead I went to confession several times without saying anything about them. He asked me about it several times but I would not tell him.


Meanwhile, some time passed and every Thursday about eight o’clock I began to feel the usual sufferings. And every time this happened to me I first felt a deep and intense sorrow for my sins. This caused me more suffering than the pains in my hands, feet, head and heart. This sorrow for my sins reduced me to a state of grief close to death. But in spite of this wonderful grace from God I did not improve but rather I committed numerous sins every day. I was disobedient and insincere with my confessor, always hiding something or other from him. My angel admonished me many times, telling me that if I continued to do this he would not allow me to see him any more. But I did not obey him and he did go away, or rather, he would only hide himself for a while.

From the Autobiography of Saint Gemma Galgani

According to eyewitness accounts, a staggering amount of blood oozed from her wounds, staining the fabric of the mattress as it spread relentlessly to soak the floor below. The lesion itself traversed the body from side to side, transfusing both hands and feet, yet in a curious and astonishing sight, these same body parts seemed to regenerate completely within hours. No traces of her wounds remained, except for the faded halo of a white patch, as silent evidence of what had happened.

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