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St. Gemma’s Last Illness
and Heroic Death

St. Gemma’s Deathbed

In 1902 Gemma in good health since her miraculous cure, offered herself to God as a victim for the salvation of souls. Jesus accepted her offer. She then fell dangerously ill. She could not keep any food down. Though briefly recovering her health, through Divine Providence, she quickly fell sick again. On September 21, 1902 she began to throw up pure blood that came with the violent loving throbbings of her heart. Meanwhile she went through a spiritual martyrdom as she experienced aridity and no consolation in her spiritual exercises. To add to that her enemy the devil multiplied his attacks on the young Virgin of Lucca.

Satan redoubled his war on Gemma as he knew the end was near. He strove to persuade her that she was entirely abandoned by God. He used hellish apparitions and even rained physical blows on her fragile body.

An eyewitness who was nursing Gemma said:

“That abominable beast will be the end of our dear Gemma- deafening blows, forms of ferocious animals, etc.- I came away from her with tears because the demon is wearing her out.”

Gemma unceasingly called on the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, still the battle waged on. Her Spiritual Director Fr. Germano regarding Gemma’s last struggle stated:

“The poor sufferer passed days, weeks and months in this way, giving us an example of heroic patience and motives for salutary fear of what may happen to us, who have not Gemma’s merits at the terrible hour of death.”

Yet through all these trials Gemma never complained, she only prayed. Gemma was at the end. She was practically a living skeleton but still beautiful despite the ravages of her sickness. She was administered Viaticum.

In her last words she said:

“I seek for nothing more; I have made the sacrifice of everything and of everyone to God; now I prepare to die.” She gasped, “Now it is indeed true that nothing more remains to me, Jesus. I recommend my poor soul to Thee … Jesus!"

Gemma then smiled a heavenly smile and letting her head drop on one side, ceased to live.

Gemma Galagni, lived like and Angel and died like a Saint

One of the sisters present at her death clothed Gemma’s body in the habit of the Passionists, which was the order to which Gemma had always aspired.

This blessed death happened on Holy Saturday April 11th, 1903 when Gemma Galgani was in her 25th year.

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