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She suffered the Passion for love of Jesus and sinners.






She was born in 1878. She suffered greatly from her precarious health and the contempt of those who rejected her devotional practices, ecstasy and other phenomena. She lived for Jesus, his Blessed Mother, and to rescue sinners.
She periodically had the stigmata of the Passion and the sores of the scourging all over her body.
She suffered physical attacks from the devil and tuberculosis of the spine. Her trials could not separate her from her communion with Our Lord but rather strengthened her..


Gemma is 20 years old, and at this moment Jesus allows a serious illness so that Gemma returns to Him with all her heart and never again be distracted by the things of the world.


«Suddenly I began to walk with a hunchback and feel kidney pain. I resisted for a while, but as things were getting worse, I asked my aunt for permission to return to Lucca».


It happened like that. Out of modesty she wanted to resist a little longer without notifying the doctor, but the aunts sent for him and suddenly she showed up and examined her. Her diagnosis was osteitis in the lumbar vertebrae with a successive cold abscess in the groin. She was left paralyzed in both legs. On January 28, 1899, she experienced unbearable pain in the head, the result of acute purulent otitis media with mastoid involvement. The doctors, seeing that the remedies did not produce any improvement and that the disease was advancing, gave her up; Only for compliance with it do they come from time to time to see it.


On December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Saint Gemma reacted with disgust… «I told Jesus that I would not pray anymore if he did not heal me. And I asked him what he intended by having me like this. The guardian angel answered me: -If Jesus afflicts you in the body it is to purify you more and more in the spirit».


Her former teacher, Sister Julia Sestini, told her the biography of a young Passionist named Gabriel de la Dolorosa. A pious lady, Cecilia Giannini, came to practice a work of mercy with Gemma; One day she visited her, and for her to distract herself, she lent her the biography of Gabriel de la Dolorosa, written by an unknown Fr. Germán de San Estanislao, C.P. How are the things of the Lord! These two people would be for Santa Gemma, in the last years of her life, two great gifts from God. Doña Cecilia would be the one who would take care of her, and would be aware of her ecstasy and mystical experiences, and Father Germán would be the spiritual director that the Lord himself would send him to guide her soul and to later confirm the authenticity of The life of her.


Saint Gemma says: «I took the book with contempt and put it under the pillow… One day she was alone. It would be like twelve. A strong temptation overcame me, and she told me that she was bored with everything. The demon used this to tempt me, telling me that if I listened to her, she would heal me. I was about to succumb. But suddenly an idea came to me; I turned to the Venerable Gabriel and told him: First the soul, then the body».


Overcome this temptation, she began to read Venerable Gabriel’s book of life and she was amazed. She never tires of admiring his virtues. When Dona Cecilia returned to pick up her book, Gemma had a hard time returning it to her. That same night, “he (Gabriel) appeared to me dressed in white. I didn’t recognize him… He took off his white tunic and appeared dressed as a Passionist.
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He told me: «You see how pleasant your sacrifice has been. I have come myself to see you. Try to be good and I’ll be back.»


On another occasion Ven. Gabriel and this time he told her to make a vow to become a nun, but for her not to add anything else.


«She smiled at me and looked at me. She put the Passionist shield on me and repeated: `My sister…`, and she disappeared. »


Her health was deteriorating, and it was suggested that she ask Blessed Margarita Maria for the miracle of her healing. She started the novena to the Sacred Heart several times but her weakness did not allow her to continue it. On February 23, 1899, the novena began again in earnest, and on the night of March 1 to 2, this happened: With a few minutes to go before midnight, Gemma heard the rubbing of rosary beads and felt a hand that settled on his forehead, the voice he heard praying asked him:


Do you want to heal?
«Everything is the same to me,» I replied.
-You will heal. Pray fervently to the Sacred Heart…
«And what about Blessed Margarita?» I asked.
-«Add in her honor three times the ‘Glory'». (Blessed Margarita is today Saint Margaret Mary)


«On the penultimate day of the Novena I wanted to receive Communion, since it ended on the First Friday of the month of March. I communed very early. What delicious moments I had with Jesus! He repeated to me:-‘Do you want to be cured?’ I couldn’t answer because of the emotion. Poor Jesus! Grace had been granted. She was cured!»


At dawn on March 2, she got up with her own feet and her entire family, seeing her, cried with joy at that miracle of God. This miracle is the prelude to other great graces that Santa Gema would receive during her life. Her love for Christ crucified and her yearning to be only for Jesus led her more and more to offer herself to the Lord as a victim of love.

The Lord was preparing Santa Gema, through the crucible of suffering, to pour graces and «jewels» on her, which she never imagined, He could grant her. How far was he from thinking that this crucified Christ whom he loved so much, very soon he was going to turn her into a living portrait of himself!




On June 8, 1899, the eve of the Feast of the Sacred Heart, after having been rejected in several religious communities because of her fragile health, Jesus elevated her on this day to the category of «Victim».

Saint Gemma says:


After Communion, Jesus told me that in the afternoon he would do me a great grace. I told Monsignor Volpi, and he told me to be attentive and to tell him later.


The afternoon came. Suddenly a strong pain of my sins assailed me. Afterwards I felt collected… The withdrawal was followed by loss of senses and I found myself in the presence of my Heavenly Mother and the guardian angel, who ordered me to perform an act of contrition. Then my Mother told me: -«Daughter, in the name of Jesus be forgiven your sins. My Son loves you very much and he wants to give you a great grace. You will know how to make yourself worthy of her… I will be your Mother. You will know how to show yourself a true daughter.»


She covered me with her cloak, and at that moment Jesus appeared. No blood came out of his wounds, but flames of fire, which came to burn on my hands, feet, and side. He thought he was dying and would have fallen to the ground if my Mother had not supported me. I stayed like that for several hours. Then my Mother kissed me on the forehead, she disappeared and I found myself on my knees. She continued to feel severe pain in her hands, feet, and side. I got up to lie down, but I noticed that blood was flowing from these parts…»


Saint Gemma, the victim of Jesus, begins to «supply in her flesh what is lacking in the Passion of Christ.» This phenomenon will be repeated in the afternoons from Thursday to Friday, every week. To hide the sores she wears gloves. Her ordinary confessor, Monsignor Volpi tells her not to let her hands be seen because people could laugh at her. Indeed, Santa Gema suffered the contempt, rejection and ridicule of many even when she walked through the streets of Lucca. She was considered a fake and a hysterical. They shouted insults and taunts through the streets. This only because of her radical surrender to Jesus and her mercy. She actually did not show any hysteria.
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hus begins for Saint Gemma a life of incomprehension truly conforming to the life of our Lord, who also suffered all this for us. This is the consolation and encouragement of Santa Gema, who looks more and more like Jesus, and every time she is humiliated, she thanks the Lord for allowing her to share his


her sufferings.

Her own confessor, Monsignor Volpi, doubts the veracity of the stigmata and thinks it is the work of hysteria. This hurts the heart of Santa Gema a lot but she endures everything for love of the One who suffered everything for us sinners.




In the month of June 1899, Santa Gemma met the Passionists in a mission that they were preaching in Lucca. When she sees them, she recognizes in them the habit of San Gabriel de la Dolorosa and in her heart she listens to the Lord who tells her: «You will be a favorite daughter of my Heart.»


She confesses to one of them, but Santa Gemma begins to tell her so much that the priest tells her to go see him at the Giannini family home, where the Passionists always stayed. This is the gateway to Santa Gema


The Gianninis were a family of extraordinary faith. They welcomed priests and other good souls into their home as family. Pope Pius XII said «In the year 1899 Gemma’s extraordinary piety and modesty aroused such great admiration in the pious family named Giannini, from Luca, that she decided to welcome her into her own home and consider her as her daughter.» This is how Don Mateo himself expresses it, who after having listened to his sister, Doña Cecilia, tells her that he will receive Gema as a daughter; and so it was indeed. Santa Gemma became her eleventh child, and everyone loved her. She for her part served them with extraordinary love.


Everyone knew that Gemma was a special soul, but the one who had the most contact with her was Mrs. Cecilia, whom Santa Gemma considered her best confidant. Mrs. Cecilia is 52 years old. She remains single and dies in 1931. She is a woman of character, enterprising, hardworking and devoted. In her relations with Gemma, she follows to the letter the guidelines of the confessors with such fidelity that the guardian angel will say to Gemma: «No person can do my times better than her».



Talking with Mrs. Cecilia, Gemma hears about Father Germán de San Estanislao, she asks Jesus to show him to her and the Lord does so in ecstasy and tells her that this is the priest who will guide her soul. Indeed, Fr. Germán becomes Gema’s confessor and extraordinary director, who witnesses the works of God in her soul.


Many phenomena related to the Passion occurred in the life of Santa Gemma; In addition to her stigmata, she had sweat and tears of blood. She was seen suffering the scourging. She received a gift that she appreciated with all her heart. Her guardian angel one day showed her two crowns and asked her to choose the one she wanted, and she chose «Jesus'».


Santa Gemma had a very particular relationship with her guardian angel, who always accompanied him and protected him from her, and many times she even served as his «postman», taking her letters to Fr. Germán. She makes sure that she also had the gift of reading hearts and that on several occasions she told several religious that they would abandon religion, which happened later, confirming this gift of her heart.


There is a very precious anecdote that happened to Santa Gemma in the Giannini house. In the dining room of the house there was a large crucifix to which the whole family had great devotion. Gema also made small «visits» on many occasions, praying in front of hers. One day, while Gemma was preparing the table, she raised her eyes to her Jesus and told him that she was hungry and thirsty for Him. She longs to kiss the image, but it is not enough because she was tall. Jesus comes out to meet him. Detaching one arm from her cross, he draws her to her, hugs her very tightly, allowing him to quench her thirst in the living fountain of her open side.


What is the attitude of Santa Gemma’s heart in the face of so many extraordinary events? Gemma remains humble and simple. At no time does she allow her pride to take over her heart, she wrote to Fr. Germán: «How much have I begged Jesus to take me along the common path!»


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