Gemma receives an unexpected grace and another heavenly vision.
Note: This is part of a serial fiction series focusing on the life of St. Gemma Galgani, following the life of a fictional character as she encounters the saint. New chapters are released every Sunday! For the previous chapter(s), click here.
At the end of Mass, Maria looked back and could see Gemma with her eyes closed, praying intensely in the last pew. It brought Maria great joy to see Gemma, happy and healthy, no longer confined to her bed.
She saw Gemma every day now, always there to receive Jesus in Holy Communion. In fact, Maria never saw Gemma leave the church! She was always there with a radiant and serene face.
As Maria genuflected and began to leave the church, Gemma motioned to her to wait for her outside.
What did she want today?
Maria had fewer conversations with Gemma now that her health was restored. It was strange that Gemma wanted to talk to her.
A few minutes later, Gemma met Maria outside on the church steps.
“Maria! I can’t hold it in any longer! I need to tell someone what I saw the other day!”
“What is it, little Gemma?”
Maria wondered what it could be. Gemma had already told her about the vision of Venerable Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin. Maybe she saw him again?
“Jesus came to me again! It was beyond words! His presence was soothing and peaceful. Oh, how I wish he would always remain with me!”
“Did he say anything to you, Gemma?”
“Yes! He said to me, ‘My daughter, I give myself entirely to you and you will be entirely mine.’ Oddly enough, my first response at seeing Jesus was not immediate joy! Instead I complained to him as he had taken both of my parents away from me and I felt abandoned by God.”
“I don’t blame you, Gemma. It is difficult to lose someone close to you, especially when you love them so much.”
“Thankfully Jesus did not rebuke me, but reassured me of his presence. He gently spoke to me saying, ‘My daughter, I will always be with you. I will be your father and Our Lady of Sorrows will be your mother. He who is my hands can never lack fatherly help. You will never lack anything even though I have taken away from you all earthly consolation and support. Come, draw near to me, you are my daughter.'”
Gemma paused for a few moments, as if she was reliving the moments in her mind. A great smile came on her face and she started again.
“I couldn’t speak! His words were such a comfort to me. I had never thought of that before, that I am God’s daughter! We are all God’s children, but we don’t realize it! Children of a loving father!”
“That is such a beautiful grace, Gemma! How blessed you are! Did Jesus say anything else?”
“Yes! He said one last sentence that is still puzzling me. He said, ‘To the grace that has been given you this morning there will be added many more and greater ones.’ I do not know what he has in store for me, but it sounds amazing! To think that this is only the beginning!”
As they were talking, a Visitandine Sister from the local convent walked up to Gemma.
“Gemma Galgani. We have heard the wonderful news of your return to health. Thanks be to God!”
“Thank you, sister! I am so blessed that Jesus cured me!”
“Yes, yes indeed. Reverend Mother spoke to me this morning and we would like to invite you to make a set of spiritual exercises at our convent. We know you have had a great desire for the religious life, and if God wills it, you can remain in the convent as part of our community.”
“Really?! Thank you so much, sister! This brings joy to my heart! Jesus is kind and merciful to me, giving me an abundance of graces!”
The Visitandine Sister made a small bow and left Gemma and Maria standing there.
“Did you hear that, Maria! I am going to become a nun! It’s what I have always wanted to do, to be close to Jesus and devote my entire life to him. My life will finally be complete!”
Come back next Sunday for the next chapter!