Saint Gemma Galgani
Patron of Chemists & Pharmacists, Invoked for Parents to Live Long Lives
Feast Day: April 11th
Gemma Galgani was born in 1878 in a small town in the Tuscany region of Italy. She was one of eight siblings and grew up as a poor pharmacist’s daughter. She developed a love for prayer at a very young age, and she was known as a very happy child despite poor health and the loss of her mother at only seven years old.
Although she was a good student, in the top of her class in grade school, she was forced to quit due to chronic illness. After her father died when she was eighteen, she accepted full responsibility for her family. However, after only two years she was diagnosed with meningitis. As was her spirit, she continued to pray and was cured of the deadly disease within a few years. This miracle made her a small town celebrity, and some people in the town even called her a liar. She was refused by the religious orders because they too doubted the miracle, but this only caused her to pray more.
In 1899 she received stigmata, painful wounds on her hands and feet appeared every Thursday at noon and continued until Friday evening. She went to live with another family on the orders of her church, and could no longer provide for her family. She received many temptations from the devil throughout her time as a Passionist, but the close relationship she had with her Guardian Angel helped her endure. She died of Tuberculosis at the age of 25 and was said to have had a smile on her face even after death. © 2008