Gemma Galgani

Gemma Galgani

Saint of the Roman Catholic Church, mystic
Date of Birth: 12.03.1878
Country: Italy

  1. Biography of Gemma Galgani
  2. Early Life and Family
  3. Mystical Experiences
  4. Holy Life and Challenges
  5. The Final Years
  6. Recognition and Canonization
  7. Legacy

Biography of Gemma Galgani

Gemma Galgani, known in the Catholic Church as Saint Gemma Galgani, was a mystic in the Roman Catholic Church. She is widely revered in Italy and Latin America and is considered the patron saint of students and pharmacists. Gemma was born on March 12, 1878, in the Italian city of Campannori, the fifth child of Enrico Galgani, an Italian pharmacist.

Early Life and Family

Gemma was born into a large, Italian family and soon after her birth, her family moved to the province of Tuscany, in the city of Lucca, to provide their children with a good education. In 1886, both of Gemma's parents passed away, and she took on the responsibility of raising her siblings. Despite her desire to enter a women's monastery, Gemma was unable to do so due to her weak health.

Mystical Experiences

In 1899, when Gemma was 20 years old, she developed stigmata. She claimed to receive private revelations from the Virgin Mary, her guardian angel, and other saints. At the request of her spiritual director, Gemma prayed for the cessation of these visions, and the stigmata disappeared.

Holy Life and Challenges

Living in poverty, Gemma became widely known for her saintly life in the city of Lucca. However, she faced a lack of support for her spiritual life and encountered neglect and negative attitudes towards her visions from her family and the church hierarchy.

The Final Years

In early 1903, Gemma fell ill with tuberculosis. During her short but fatal illness, she experienced various extraordinary mystical phenomena. Her health deteriorated sharply at the beginning of Holy Week, and she passed away on Good Friday, April 11, 1903.

Recognition and Canonization

After Gemma's death, her spiritual director, who had kept all her mystical experiences secret, wrote a detailed biography, publishing her personal diary and letters. The Church authorities recognized the authenticity of her mystical life after the publication of Gemma's writings. Gemma Galgani was canonized by Pope Pius XII on May 2, 1940.


The relics of Saint Gemma Galgani are preserved in the Passionist monastery in the city of Lucca, Italy. Her life continues to inspire and her intercession is sought by many devoted followers around the world.