Saint Gemma Galgani

Saint Gemma was born on March 12, 1878 near the town of Lucca, in Italy.  Even from her earliest childhood, she loved the gospel stories of the Passion that her mother would tell her.  She lost both her parents during her youth and was lovingly welcomed into the Giannini home, a good Christian family, fervent in the Catholic faith.

As a young woman, she consecrated herself by vow of virginity to God.  Saint Gemma was blessed with the visible presence of her guardian angel throughout her life, and she spoke with him as with a dearest friend.  She also had visions of Jesus, Our Lady, and St. Gabriel, CP.  Her intense love for Jesus Crucified prepared her to receive the great grace and gift of the stigmata--she bore the wounds of Jesus in her body.

Saint Gemma died on Holy Saturday, April 11, 1903.  She showed us how to fulfill the call to holiness in the midst of the world.

From Saint Gemma's writings:
"I wish that my heart could beat, that I could live and breathe only for Jesus.  I wish that my tongue could utter no other name than that of Jesus; that my eye could see only Jesus; that my pen could write only about Jesus, and that my thoughts could soar to nothing but Jesus. . . . Let us recall, my dear Sister, that we are disciples of this Jesus who suffered so much.  It is not enough to look at the cross, or wear it, we must carry it in the depth of our heart. . . . May it never be said that we would fail Jesus and leave him alone on the road to Calvary.  Let us stay with him, not only as far as Calvary but to the cross and death. . . . I am the fruit of your passion, Jesus, born of your wounds.  O Jesus, seek me in love; I no longer possess anything; you have stolen my heart."

"Do you love me? . . . Follow me"

In today's gospel, Jesus asks Peter, "Do you love me?" (Jn 21:16)  He has a mission for Peter, "Tend my sheep" (Jn 21:16).  Peter loves Jesus but is also aware of his weaknesses and previous failures.  Jesus insists, "Feed my sheep" (Jn 21:17).  Jesus knows well our fallen human nature, and He still entrusts each of us with a unique mission to further His Kingdom.  He calls us to a particular vocation not because we are worthy but because He loves us.

Jesus speaks to us today in the depth of our souls.  He loves us more than we love ourselves and has a beautiful plan for our lives.  How do you know His plan? Listen!

On May 18th, we will have a Vocation Discernment Retreat at our monastery from 7:30 AM to 7:30 PM.  The purpose of the day is to provide women who are discerning their vocation the opportunity to enter into silence, listen, pray, and learn more about religious life.  The day will begin with Holy Mass.  Participants will follow the monastic schedule, pray the Divine Office with the Sisters, and have the opportunity to hear vocation stories.  There will be discussion about the discernment process and the similarities and differences between the three vocations--married, single, and religious life.  We will also talk specifically about the contemplative Passionist vocation.  Participants will have opportunities for individual questions and guidance.

We entrust to our Blessed Mother all women whom God is calling to a religious vocation.  May she grant them a share of her silent spirit that listens and trustingly surrenders to God's loving plan.

The Contemplative Passionist Life