Gemma is reluctant to tell anyone about receiving the wounds of Jesus on her body.
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.
Maria was excited today, as she was successful in convincing two doctors to write certificates of health for Gemma. She only needed two more certificates and then Gemma could re-enter the Visitandine convent!
These doctors were reluctant, but when Maria told them about Gemma’s call from God, they admitted that her health would be sufficient for the convent.
The cannoli Maria baked may have helped soften their hearts as well.
Maria greeted the Galgani family and then proceeded to Gemma’s room with the two certificates in hand.
However, something was different.
Gemma was kneeling on the floor, and for some reason she was wearing gloves. This was odd, as it was June and the weather had been very hot lately.
At first Gemma didn’t notice Maria enter the room, but after a few minutes she turned around and was embarrassed.
“Maria! I am so sorry, I didn’t know you were here. I still can’t believe what happened last night …”
“What was it, little Gemma? What happened?”
“I-I … I don’t know if I can tell you. You probably won’t believe me.”
Maria shook her head and helped Gemma up from the floor.
“No, no, Gemma, of course I will believe you. There is nothing that you can’t tell me. And before I forget, look here! I was able to get two health certificates! Only two more and you will be back in the convent in no time!”
“I am not sure they will let me back in after I tell you what happened …”
“What is it, child?”
“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. My mind was flooded with thoughts, thoughts of sorrow, of love, of fear, of hope and of comfort. Then I found myself before my heavenly Mother. She said to me, ‘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?'”
“Holy Mary! What a beautiful grace!”
“That was only the beginning. I didn’t know how to respond. 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.”
Gemma then removed her gloves.
“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.”
Maria was astonished at what she saw. Gemma received the holy stigmata of Jesus! She has the physical wounds of Jesus on her body!
“Little Gemma, this is remarkable! A miracle! Have you shown these to a priest?”
Gemma put her gloves back on and looked embarrassed to talk about it.
“No, I am afraid the priest will think I am crazy, or that I inflicted the wounds on myself. Nobody is going to believe me.”
Maria immediately had an idea.
“There is a mission at St. Martin’s church this week and a visiting priest will be there. He is a Passionist and I know he would be the perfect priest to show these remarkable miracles!”
Come back next Sunday for the next chapter!