Low Sunday +2021, Our Lady of Fourviere and Memorials of the Saints – 11 April

Low Sunday +2021 The Octave Day of Easter, also known as the Sunday in White

Notre-Dames de Fourviere / Our Lady of Fourviere

This is a copy of the original Statue, which was destroyed by the protestants. It was placed above the main Altar in 1751 and crowned on 8 September 1900 by the Order of Pope Leo XIII, at the same time as the Statue of Our Lady in the Basilica.

According to the traditions of Lyons, supported by a Bull of Pope Innocent IV, Saint Pothinus erected the first Oratory where Mary was invoked in Gaul. It is asserted that he brought, from the interior of Asia, a small Statue of the Blessed Virgin, which he deposited in a solitary and shaded crypt on the banks of the Saone, in front of the hill of Fourviere. He set up in this wild and secluded spot an Altar to the true God and placed there, the image, which was transferred later to a Church built on the hill itself, whence it took the name of Our Lady of Fourviere.
The veneration of the people, in the middle ages, surrounded this Church and it was a pilgrimage of great renown throughout the Lyonnais but the Calvinists, who destroyed and pillaged so many rich Sanctuaries, showed no favour to that of Lyons, the Church of Fourviere, where, from the birth of Christianity, each generation had marked its passage by gifts to Our Lady of Fourviere. After the desecration, the Church retained nothing but its four bare walls, which could not be melted down in the crucible, where so many master productions disappeared, which had the misfortune to be made of gold or silver.
The chapter of Saint John could not attend to the renovation of the Church of Fourviere, until long after the ravages of the Protestants. They worked at it after they had restored the Cathedral and the cloister. The Altar of Mary, Our Lady of Fourviere, was at last consecrated on 21 August 1586. From that moment, the confidence of the inhabitants turned towards that beacon of salvation. “The source of prodigies seemed dried up there,” says an ancient historian; “they began again at the end of the sixteenth century and all Lyons felt great joy on the occasion.”

During the revolution of 1793, the Church of Fourviere was sold but when calm was restored, the zealous prelate who governed the ancient Church of Pothinus and Irenaeus, procured the Sanctuary of Mary, to be restored to the veneration of her as Our Lady of Fourviere. The inauguration of the Sanctuary was performed on 19 April 1805, by the Sovereign Pontiff Pius VII. In 1832 and 1835, Lyons being threatened with cholera, lifted up her eyes to the holy mountain and the Blessed Virgin said to the scourge, “Thou shalt go no farther.” The capital of the Lyonnese, changed its cries of alarm into canticles of joy and the prayers of thanksgiving were solemnly and justly offered to Mary.
Ever since the happy period when that Sanctuary was restored to religious worship, piety seems to have redoubled its ardour for Our Blessed Lady and, it is at Fourviere, that it is sharpened and revived. The inhabitants of Lyons and those of the county adjacent, throng the paths of the hill of Mary; at whatever hour you repair there, you will always find yourself in the midst of a crowd of pious persons ,of all ranks, ages and conditions.

Our Lady on the Facade

One day, in the year 1815, a pilgrim of an unusual kind, who had begun by observing Lyons from the summit of the hill, like a man who wanted to study both its strength and its weakness, presented himself in the Church of Notre Dame and the faithful, lifting up for a moment their eyes, which had been cast down in prayer, said to themselves, “Marshal Suchet!”
It was indeed he – the Marshal of the empire, the child of Lyons, to whom was confided the defence of his native city – who passed along the nave of the Church of Mary with a slow step, with a respectful countenance, in which was mingled something mild and softened, something like a distant remembrance of joy, which awakens and soothes the soul with an invisible music. He went into the Sacristy and directed one of the Chaplains to come to him there;. The vice-president hastened to him: “Monsieur l’Abbe,” said the marshal, stepping forward towards the ecclesiastic, “when I was quite a child, my pious and good mother often brought me here, to the feet of Our Lady and this I still remember…I will say more, this recollection is dear to me and I have never lost it. Be pleased to have some Masses said for my intentions.” And putting down three Napoleons on the table where the offerings are registered, the brilliant hero of the gigantic epoch went to kneel, before the Altar of Mary, where he prayed for some time with edifying devotion. Moreover, Marshal Suchet terminated his noble and loyal career by a Christian end, for which he was praised upon his tomb.

St Stanislaus (1030-1079) Bishop and Martyr (Memorial)
St Stanislaus life:
t Agericus of Tours
St Aid of Achard-Finglas
St Antipas of Pergamum (Died c 92) Bishop and Martyr, spiritual student of Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist

St Barsanuphius the Hermit (Died c 563)
About St Barsanuphius:
St Domnio of Salona
Bl Elena Guerra
St Eustorgius of Nicomedia
St Gemma Galgani (1878-1903)
St Gemma:

Bl George Gervase
St Godeberta of Noyon
St Guthlac of Crowland (674–715)
St Hildebrand of Saint-Gilles
St Isaac of Monteluco
Bl James of Africa
Bl John of Cupramontana
Bl Lanunio
St Machai
St Maedhog of Clonmore
Bl Mechthild of Lappion
Bl Paul of Africa
St Philip of Gortyna
St Raynerius Inclusus
St Sancha of Portugal
St Stephen of Saint-Gilles
Bl Symforian Ducki


Holy Saturday – Easter Vigil in the Holy Night +2020 and Memorials of the Saints – 11 April

Holy Saturday – Sabbatum Sanctum – Easter Vigil in the Holy Night +2020

On Holy Saturday the Church waits at the Lord’s tomb, meditating on His suffering and death.

The altar is left bare and the sacrifice of the Mass is not celebrated.

Only after the solemn vigil during the night, held in anticipation of the Resurrection, does the Easter celebration begin, with a spirit of joy that overflows into the following period of fifty days.

St Stanislaus (1030-1079) Bishop and Martyr (Memorial)
St Stanislaus life:

St Agericus of Tours
St Aid of Achard-Finglas
Bl Angelo Carletti di Chivasso
St Antipas of Pergamon
St Barsanuphius the Hermit (Died c 563)
St Domnio of Salona
Bl Elena Guerra
St Eustorgius of Nicomedia
St Gemma Galgani (1878-1903)
St Gemma:

Bl George Gervase
St Godeberta of Noyon
St Guthlac of Crowland (674–715)
St Hildebrand of Saint-Gilles
St Isaac of Monteluco
Bl James of Africa
Bl John of Cupramontana
Bl Lanunio
St Machai
St Maedhog of Clonmore
Bl Mechthild of Lappion
Bl Paul of Africa
St Philip of Gortyna
St Raynerius Inclusus
St Sancha of Portugal
St Stephen of Saint-Gilles
Bl Symforian Ducki


Quote/s of the Day – 1 January – ‘Love God’

Quote/s of the Day – 1 January – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord and the Memorial of St Fulgentius of Ruspe (c 462 – 533)

“My brothers,
Christ made love the stairway
that would enable all Christians
to climb to heaven.
Hold fast to it, therefore,
in all sincerity,
give one another practical proof of it
and by your progress in it,
make your ascent together.”

St Fulgentius of Ruspe (c 462 – 533)

From a sermon on The Feast of Saint Stephenchrist made love the stairway - st fulgentius 1 jan 2020.jpg

“Love God,
serve God,
everything is in that.”

St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)love-god-serve-god-everything-is-in-that-st-clare-1-jan-2019 and 2020.jpg

“During this new year,
I resolve to begin a new life.
I do not know,
what will happen to me, during this year.
But I abandon myself entirely to You, my God.
And my aspirations and all my affections,
will be for You.
I feel so weak, dear Jesus
but with Your help,
I hope and resolve,
to live a different life,
that is, a life closer to You.”

St Gemma Galgani (1878-1903)during this new year i resolve - st gemma galgani a blessed new year - 1 jan 2020.jpg


Quote of the Day – 11 April – “Make me feel Your passion…”

Quote of the Day – 11 April – Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Year C and the Memorial of St Gemma Galgani (1878–1903) “Daughter of the Passion”

Do grant, oh my God,
that when my lips
approach Yours to kiss You,
I may taste the gall that was given to You;
when my shoulders lean against Yours,
make me feel Your scourging;
when my flesh is united with Yours,
in the Holy Eucharist,
make me feel Your passion;
when my head comes near Yours,
make me feel Your thorns;
when my heart is close to Yours,
make me feel Your spear.

St Gemma Galganido grant oh my god - st gemma galgani - 11 april 2019.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, YouTube VIDEOS

Memorials of the Saints – 11 April

St Stanislaus (1030-1079) Bishop and Martyr (Memorial)
St Stanislaus life:

St Agericus of Tours
St Aid of Achard-Finglas
Bl Angelo Carletti di Chivasso
St Antipas of Pergamon
St Barsanuphius of Gaza
St Domnio of Salona
Bl Elena Guerra
St Eustorgius of Nicomedia
St Gemma Galgani (1878-1903)
St Gemma:

Bl George Gervase
St Godeberta of Noyon
St Guthlac of Crowland (674–715)
St Hildebrand of Saint-Gilles
St Isaac of Monteluco
Bl James of Africa
Bl John of Cupramontana
Bl Lanunio
St Machai
St Maedhog of Clonmore
Bl Mechthild of Lappion
Bl Paul of Africa
St Philip of Gortyna
St Raynerius Inclusus
St Sancha of Portugal
St Stephen of Saint-Gilles
Bl Symforian Ducki


Quote/s of the Day – 1 January – New Year’s Day 2019

Quote/s of the Day – 1 January – New Year’s Day 2019

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,
the new creation has come.
The old has gone, the new is here!”

2 Corinthians 5:17therefore,is anyone is in christ - 2 corinthians 5 17

“Brothers, . . . I can only say,
that forgetting all that lies behind me
and straining forward to what lies in front of me
and I am racing towards the finishing-point,
to win the prize of God’s heavenly call
in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 3:13brothers...i can only say phil 3 13 - blessed 2019 keep up the good fight 1 jan 2018

May he give you what you desire
and make all your plans succeed.
Then we will shout for joy over your victory
and celebrate your triumph by praising our God.
May the LORD answer all your requests.

Psalm 20:4-5may he give you what you desire - blessed 2019 1 jan 2019 no 3

“The bread you store up belongs to the hungry,
the cloak that lies in your chest belongs to the naked,
the gold you have hidden in the ground,
belongs to the poor.”

St Basil the Great (329-379) Father & Doctor of the Churchthe bread you store up - st basil the great - 1 jan 2019

“Love God,
serve God;
everything is in that.”

St Clare of Assisi (1194-1253)love god serve god everything is in that - st clare - 1 jan 2019

“Teach us to give and not to count the cost.”teach us to give and not to count the cost - st ignatius 1 jan 2019.jpg

“All for the greater glory of God.”

St Ignatius de Loyola (1491-1556)all for the greater glory of god - 1 jan 2019 happy new year.jpg

“You must ask God to give you power
to fight against the sin of pride
which is your greatest enemy –
the root of all that is evil
and the failure of all that is good.
For God resists the proud.”

St Vincent de Paul (1581-1660)you must ask god to give you power - st vincent de paul - new year's res 1 jan 2019

“Let us go forward in peace,
our eyes upon heaven,
the only one goal of our labours.”

St Thérèse of the Child Jesus (1873-1897)- Doctor of the Churchlet us go forward in peace - st t of l - 1 jan 2018.jpg

“During this new year,
I resolve to begin a new life.
I do not know,
what will happen to me, during this year.
But I abandon myself entirely to You, my God.
And my aspirations and all my affections,
will be for You.
I feel so weak, dear Jesus
but with Your help,
I hope and resolve,
to live a different life,
that is, a life closer to You.”

“Father, do You know,
the latest idea that has come into my head?
It is to become a saint at all costs.
I made this resolution yesterday evening.
During my meditation I was thinking,
that one lives only once
and it is certain,
that one is going to die,
then one will have to answer to God.”

“Every time the clock strikes,
I will repeat three times –
‘My Jesus, mercy!”

St Gemma Galgani (1878-1903)new year quotes - st gemma galgani 1 jan 2019

AND here are Quotes for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God:


One Minute Reflection – 11 April – Wednesday of the Second Week of Eastertide and the memorial of St Gemma Galgani (1878-1903)

One Minute Reflection – 11 April – Wednesday of the Second Week of Eastertide and the memorial of St Gemma Galgani (1878-1903)

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life;  he who comes to Me will not hunger and he who believes in Me will never thirst.”…John 6:35john 6 35 - 11 april 2018

REFLECTION – “Jesus, Food of strong souls, strengthen me, purify me, make me godlike.”…St Gemma Galganijesus, food of strong souls - st gemma galgani - 11 april 2018

PRAYER – Oh my Lord, Food of my soul, Food of my life, teach us to fully grow in our love and understanding of the great Mystery of the Holy Eucharist.   Help us to participate more fully at each Holy Mass.   St Gemma pray for us that we may love the food of our souls and one day join you in our heavenly home.   Through our Lord Jesus in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever, - 11 april 2017


Our Morning Offering – 11 April – Wednesday of the Second Week of Eastertide and the Memorial of St Gemma Galgani (1878-1903)

Our Morning Offering – 11 April – Wednesday of the Second Week of Eastertide and the Memorial of St Gemma Galgani (1878-1903)

Prayer for Forgiveness
By St Gemma Galgani (1878-1903)

My crucified God, behold me at Your feet.
Do not reject me, a poor sinner,
as I appear before You.
I have offended You much in the past, my Jesus
but in the future I resolve to sin no more.

My God, I put all my sins before You.
I have considered them and realise
they do not deserve Your pardon.
But I beg of you to cast one glance upon Your sufferings
and see how great is the worth of that Precious Blood
that flows from your veins.

My God, at this hour,
close Your eyes to my want of merit
and open them to Your infinite merits.
Since You, dear Jesus,
have been pleased to die for my sins,
grant me forgiveness for them all,
that I may no longer feel their heavy burden,
which presses me to the earth.

My Jesus, help me, for I desire to become good,
no matter what it may cost.
Take away, destroy, root out completely,
all that You find in me that may be contrary to Your holy Will.
At the same time I beg You, O Jesus,
to enlighten me, that I may be able to walk in Your holy light.
Amenprayer for forgiveness - st gemma galgani - 11 april 2018


Saint of the Day – 11 April – St Gemma Galgani (1878-1903)

Saint of the Day – 11 April – St Gemma Galgani (1878-1903) known as The Flower of Lucca, The Virgin of Lucca and Daughter of the Passion – Stigmatist & Mystic – born on 12 March 1878 at Borgo Nuovo di Camigliano, Lucca, Tuscany, Italy and died on Holy Saturday, 11 April 1903 at Borgo Nuovo di Camigliano, Lucca, Italy of tuberculosis.   Her relics interred in the Passionist monastery, Lucca.   Patronages – Students, Pharmacists, Paratroopers and Parachutists, loss of parents, those suffering back injury or back pain, those suffering with headaches/migraines, those struggling with temptations to impurity and those seeking purity of heart.   Attributes – Passionist robe, flowers (lilies and roses), guardian angel, stigmata, heavenward gaze.header - st gemma galgani

Gemma Galgani was born on 12 March 1878, in a small Italian town near Lucca.  Gemma is the Italian word for gem.   The child’s mother was worried that this name was not a saint’s name but a priest friend comforted her with the remark that perhaps the child would one day be a “gem of Paradise.”

At a very young age, Gemma developed a love for prayer.   She credited her mother, who died when Gemma was very young, with inspiring in her the desire for Heaven and with teaching her about God.   Gemma made her First Communion on 17 June 1887.   Later, she wrote, “It is impossible for me to describe what passed between Jesus and myself in that moment.   He made himself felt so strongly in my soul.   I realised in that moment how the delights of Heaven are not like those of the earth and I was seized by a desire to make that union with my God everlasting.”

As a day pupil at the school run by the Sisters of St Zita, Gemma was loved by her teachers and her fellow pupils.   Although quiet and reserved, she always had a friendly smile for everyone.   Though by nature a bright and lively child, she exercised great self discipline even as a schoolgirl, keeping her feelings under control.   The superior of the sisters at the school once asked Gemma’s teacher and her class to pray for a dying man who refused the Sacraments.   After the prayer, Gemma arose from her seat and going up to her teacher, whispered in her ear, “The grace is granted.”   That evening the news as brought that the man had indeed converted and received the consolations of the Faith before his death.


Throughout her life, Gemma was to be favoured with many mystical experiences and special graces.   Often these were misunderstood by others, bringing ridicule.  A sensitive person, Gemma suffered these heartaches, too, in reparation, remembering that Our Lord Himself had been misunderstood and ridiculed.

Although she was a good student, Gemma had to quit school due to chronic ill heath before completing the course of study.   Throughout her life, her frail constitution did not stand up well to several illnesses.

Gemma’s father had been a moderately successful pharmacist.   But because of his generosity and his willingness to extend credit to those in need, he began to get into financial trouble.   His death in 1897 left Gemma and his other children penniless orphans.   Gemma felt the loss of her father keenly but did not appear to be bothered by the poverty of her circumstances.   She must have felt desolate when the creditors came and took away the few possessions left to the family on the very day of her father’s funeral but she maintained her cheerful, patient attitude.

Gemma had an immense love for the poor and when she went out, many poor people came to her for help.   When she could, she gave them things from home.   Later, when she too was a “povera,” or poor girl, she gave them the gift of friendship.   She would weep over their misfortunes, completely ignoring her own.

After her father’s death, the nineteen-year-old Gemma became the mother of her seven brothers and sisters.   When some were old enough to share this responsibility, she lived briefly with a married aunt.   Although she returned the love given by this aunt and uncle, Gemma was unhappy with the busy social life of the couple.   They were well off and wanted Gemma to join in the fun which they could afford to provide.   At this time, two young men proposed marriage to her.   Gemma, however, wanted silence and retirement and more than ever she desired to pray and speak only to God.

Gemma returned home and almost immediately became very ill with meningitis. Gradually she lost her hearing and some of her hair.   In addition, she suffered a complete paralysis of her limbs.   All earthly remedies proved vain and Gemma was confined to bed for more than a year.   Throughout this illness, her one regret was the trouble she caused her relatives in taking care of her.   News of the heroic patience of the gentle girl spread about the town and many visitors came to cheer her up.   For each visitor, Gemma had a smile and a welcoming comment.

Feeling herself tempted by the devil, she prayed for help to the Venerable Passionist, Gabriel Possenti.   (Gabriel was later canonised.)   He appeared to her in dreams several times, promising her help and calling her “sister.”   Through his intercession, Gemma was miraculously cured.   In one of her visions of Gabriel, he placed the badge of the Passionists on Gemma.   When she spoke of her desire to enter a convent, he told her to make her vow to be a religious but not to add anything to this vow.   Gabriel was telling her that although she might live the life of a nun, she would never enter any particular convent.   Later, Gemma was rejected as a candidate for the religious life on the grounds of her health was too delicate.   She offered this disappointment to God as a sacrifice.

Gifted with an ability for prophecy, Gemma predicted that the Passionists would establish a monastery at Lucca;  this came to pass two years after her death.   When she understood that she would not be able to enter a Passionist monastery, Gemma said, “The Passionists did not wish to receive me;  nevertheless, because I wish to stay with them, I shall when I am dead.”   Today, Gemma’s mortal remains are still treasured at the Passionist monastery in Lucca.

Monastery-Sanctuary-of-St-Gemma-Galgani-22passionist monastery lucca - holy card issuedGiovanni-Paolo-II-adorazione-al-SS.-Sacramento

On the 8 June, 1899, Gemma had an interior warning that some unusual grace was to be granted to her.   She spoke of this to her confessor and received absolution.   She later gave the following account to her spiritual director:  “It was Thursday evening, and suddenly I felt an inward sorrow for my sins;  but so intense that I have never felt the like again;  my sorrow made me feel as if I should die then and there.   After that I felt all the powers of my soul in recollection.   My intellect seemed to know nothing but my sins and how they offended God . . . Then thoughts crowded thickly within me and they were thoughts of sorrow, love, fear, hope and comfort.”

In rapture, she saw her heavenly Mother, who wrapped Gemma in her mantle.   At that moment, according to her own account, “Jesus appeared with His wounds all open; blood was not flowing from them but flames of fire which in one moment came and touched my hands, feet and heart.   I felt I was dying and should have fallen down but for my Mother who supported me and kept me under her cloak.   Thus I remained for several hours.   Then my Mother kissed my forehead, the vision disappeared and I found myself on my knees;   but I had still a keen pain in my hands, feet and heart.   I got up to get into bed and I saw that blood was coming from the places where I had the pain.   I covered them as well as I could and then, helped by my Guardian Angel, got into bed.”

The next day, covering her hands with gloves, Gemma attended Mass as usual.   Later, she showed the marks of the stigmata to one of her aunts, saying, “Just look at what Jesus has done to me!”

Saint Gemma Galgani 89Saint Gemma Galgani large8the cross and st gemma galgani

Each Thursday evening, Gemma would fall into rapture and the marks would appear. The stigmata remained until Friday afternoon or Saturday morning when the bleeding would stop, the wounds would close and only white marks would remain in place of the deep gashes.   Later, one of Gemma’s directors turned to science and had a doctor examine the stigmata.   As Gemma had foreseen, the doctor considered them a manifestation of some form of disease, or the delusions of an overly pious soul.  Gemma’s stigmata continued to appear until the last three years before her death.   At this time, her director forbade her to accept this phenomenon and through her prayers it ceased, although whitish marks remained on her skin until her death.

Through the help of her confessor, Gemma went to live with a family named Giannini, where she was allowed more freedom than at home for her spiritual life.   She was very grateful to this adoptive family and was more than once overheard in ecstasy praying for its members.   In this home, Gemma cheerfully did housework and helped in the training and education of the children.

There is a good record of Gemma’s words during ecstasy.   In this state of rapture, the soul is so absorbed in God that the normal activity of the senses is suspended.   Both her confessor and a relative of the head of her adoptive family, Aunt Cecilia, often overheard Gemma and recorded her conversations.

Father Germano once overheard her arguing with Divine Justice for the salvation of a soul.   Some of her words were:  “I do not seek Your justice, but for Your mercy.   I know, he made You shed tears;  but . . . You must not think of his sins;  You must think of the Blood You shed.   And now answer, Jesus and tell me You have saved my sinner.”   Gemma actually named the man she was praying for.   Soon afterwards, she broke out joyfully, “He is saved!  You have won, Jesus;  triumph always thus.” Then she came out of ecstasy.

Father Germano had just left the room when he heard a knock and was told that a stranger wished to speak to him.   As soon as the man was before the priest, he fell to his knees weeping and said, “Father, I want to make my confession.”  The priest was stunned to realise that it was Gemma’s sinner.


Gemma often saw her guardian angel, with whom she was on familiar terms.   Sometimes the angel protected and consoled her, sometimes he counselled her and occasionally he scolded her very severely for her faults.   He would say, “I am ashamed of you.”   At times Gemma was heard arguing with her guardian angel, so that her spiritual director, Father Germano, had to remind her that she was speaking with a blessed spirit of Heaven and should be very respectful.   The angel is mentioned on almost every single page of Gemma’s diary.   In one entry, Gemma wrote that the devil had been raining down blows on her shoulder for nearly half an hour.   “Then my guardian angel came and asked me what was the matter;  I begged him to stay with me all night and he said: ‘But I must sleep.’ ‘No,’ I replied, ‘the Angels of Jesus do not sleep!’   ‘Nevertheless,’ he rejoined, smiling, ‘I ought to rest.   Where shall you put me?’   I begged him to remain n ear me.   I went to bed; after that he seemed to spread his wings and come over my head. In the morning he was still there.”

One of the most extraordinary things is the fact that Gemma often sent her guardian angel on errands, usually to deliver a letter or oral message to Father Germano in Rome. Often the reply was delivered by the priest’s guardian angel.   Realising how unusual this was, Father Germano asked Heaven for a sign that it was in accord with God’s Will.  After Gemma’s death, he wrote: “To how many tests didn’t I submit this singular phenomenon in order to convince myself that it took place through a supernatural intervention!   And yet none of my tests ever failed;  and thus I was convinced again and again that in this, like in many other extraordinary things in her life, Heaven was delighted in amusing itself, as it were, with this innocent and dear maiden.”

During the apostolic investigations into her life, all witnesses testified that there was no artfulness in Gemma’s manner.   At the end of each of her ecstasies, she returned to normal and went quietly and serenely about the family life.   Most of her severe penances and sacrifices were hidden from most who knew her.   Only a few around her privileged to realise that she was exceptionally favoured.

In spite of everything which had happened to her, Gemma understood the true joy of her way of life.   She said, “There is neither cross nor sorrow, when we are tightly united to Jesus.”

In January of 1903, Gemma was diagnosed as having tuberculosis.   To avoid danger to her adoptive family, she was isolated in a small apartment close to the Giannini house. For four months Gemma suffered uncomplainingly from the disease.   She died quietly, in the company of the parish priest, on 11 April.   In his testimony he said, “I have been present at many deathbeds but never have I seen anyone die like Gemma, without even a precursor sign, nor a tear, nor a panting breath.   She died with a smile which remained upon her lips, so that I could not convince myself that she was really dead.”

The Church authorities began to study Gemma’s life in 1917 and she was beatified in 1933.   The decree approving the miracles for canonisation was read 26 March 1939—Passion Sunday.   Gemma was canonised on 2 May 1940, only thirty-seven years after her death.





The Wonders of the Holy Name – Fr Paul O’Sullivan, O.P. – “Revealing the Simplest Secret Ever of Holiness and Happiness.” Part Ten – 19 July

Previous – here:

the wonders of the holy name-day ten-17 july

The Saints and the Holy Name contd.

Blessed Gonzalo de Amarante:  reached a very
eminent degree of sanctity by the frequent repetition
of the Holy Name.

The Blessed Giles of Santarem:  felt so much
love and delight in saying the Holy Name that he
was raised in the air in ecstasy.
Those who repeat frequently the Name of Jesus
feel a great peace in their souls “that peace which
the World cannot give”, which God alone gives,
a peace “that surpasses all understanding”.

St Leonard of Portmaurlce:  cherished a tender
devotion to the Name of Jesus and in his continual
missions taught the people who thronged to
listen to him the wonders of the Holy Name.
This he did with such love that tears flowed from
his eyes and from the eyes of all who heard him.
He begged them to put a card with this Divine
Name on their doors.   This was attended with the
happiest results for many were thus saved from
sickness and disasters of various kinds.
One, unfortunately, was prevented from doing
so as a Jew who was part-owner of the house in
which he lived sternly refused to have the Name
of Jesus placed on the door.   His fellow lodger then
decided that he would write it on his windows,
which he accordingly did.   Some days after a
fierce fire broke out in the building which destroyed
all the appartments belonging to the Jew while
the rooms belonging to his Christian neighbour in
no wise suffered from the conflagration.
This fact was made public and increased a
hundred fold the faith and trust in the Holy Name
of Our Saviour.   In fact the whole city of Ferrajo
was a witness of this extraordinary protection.

St Edmund:  had special devotion to the Name
of Jesus which Our Lord Himself taught him.
One day when he was in the country and separated
from his companions a beautiful child stood
by him and asked: “Edmund do you not know
me?”   Edmund replied that he did not.    Then
replied the child:  “Look at me and you will see
who I am.”   Edmund looked as he was bidden
and saw written on the Child’s forehead:  “Jesus
of Nazareth. King of the Jews” “Know now who
I am” said the child “every night make the sign
of the cross and say these. words: “Jesus of Nazareth
King of the Jews.”   “If you do so this
prayer will deliver you and all who say it from
sudden and unprovided-for deaths.”
Edmund faithfully did as Our Lord told him.
The devil once tried to prevent him and held his
hands so that he could not make the holy sign.
Edmund invoked the Name of Jesus and the devil
fled in terror leaving him unmolested for the
Many people practise this easy devotion and so
save themselves from unhappy deaths.   Others
with their forefinger imprint with holy water on
their foreheads the four letters I. N. R. I. to signify
Jesus Nazarenus Rex Judeorum. the words
written by Pilate for the cross of Our Lord.
St Alphonsus earnestly recommends both these

St Frances of Rome:  enjoyed the extraordinary
privilege of constantly seeing and speaking to her
Angel Guardian.   When she pronounced the Name
of Jesus the Angel was radiant with happiness and
bent down in loving adoration.
Sometimes the devil dared to appear to her
seeking to frighten her and do her harm.   But
when she pronounced the Holy Name he was filled
with rage and hatred and fled in terror from her

St Jane of Chantal:  that most lovable friend
of St. Francis de Sales, had many beautiful devotions
taught her by this holy Doctor who acted
as her spiritual adviser for many years.   She so
loved the Name of Jesus that she actually wrote
it with a hot iron on her breast.

Blessed Henry Suso – had done the same with a pointed steel

We may not aspire to this holy daring, we may
with reason lack the courage of inscribing the
Holy Name on our breasts.   This needs a special
inspiration from God.   But we may follow the
example of another dear St B. Catherine of
Racconigi, a daughter of St. Dominic, who repeated
frequently and lovingly the Name of Jesus so
that after her death the Name of Jesus was found
engraved in letters of gold on her heart.   We
all can do as she did and thus the Name of Jesus
will be emblazoned on our souls for all Eternity
in sight of the Saints and Angels in Heaven.

St Gemma Galganl:   Almost in our own days this
dear girl Saint also had the privilege of frequent
and intimate converse with her Angel Guardian.
Sometimes the Angel and Gemma entered into a
holy contest as to which of them could say more
lovingly the Name of Jesus.