Feast Day Fun: St Gemma (April 11) is part of our ongoing series: Feast Day Fun with quick saint facts, crafts, activities and traditions!
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Excerpts from A Treasure Chest of Traditions for Catholic Families , various posts at Equipping Catholic Families and our Saint Scripts Craft Kits (Series ONE and TWO).
St Gemma was the fourth of eight children and learned to offer up her sacrifices and suffering at a very young age. She had a very strong devotion to Our Blessed Mother, especially after the death of her own earthly mother who had fostered St Gemma’s desire to go to Heaven. St Gemma looked after her own siblings and eventually helped to care for the children in the Giannini home. Through the intercession of Venerable Passionist, Gabriel Possenti, St Gemma was miraculously cured of spinal meningitis. She later received the stigmata (5 wounds of Christ) along with wounds from the crown of thorns, scourging and carrying of the cross. She suffered violent attacks from the devil, but also ecstasies in prayer and a close relationship with Jesus, Our Blessed Mother and her own Guardian Angel. Denied entry into a convent throughout her life, St Gemma prayed fervently for a Passionist community of nuns to be established in Lucca…and it was, shortly after her death.
On my pilgrimage last fall to Rome, we made a side trip to Lucca, the hometown of St Gemma. We visited two homes where she had lived…including the room where she died as well as the Sanctuary/Monastery where her body remains.
St Gemma is the patron saint of those suffering from back pain or headeaches including migraines, as well as students, paratroopers and parachutists and loss of parents. She is a wonderful model of purity and chastity and offering our suffering for the conversion of sinners.
St Gemma suffered much pain from serious illnesses throughout her life as well as from the wounds of Christ in the stigmata she received.
From a young age, St Gemma knew to offer up her suffering for the conversion of sinners and there are miracles attributed to her prayerful intercession and suffering
Do you get headaches? Thankfully…my migraines are pretty infrequent. While I need to get better at offering up the pain like St Gemma…I thought these headache remedies and these headache remedies and prevention tips are interesting. I may try some of these next time…along with extra strength Tylenol, rubbing Vick’s VapoRub on my head and wearing my sunglasses inside the house….and, you know, prayer.
St Gemma is also one of our newest Wooden Painted Saints !
Here are those links again with all of our Wooden Painted Saint Tutorials and fun ways to play with them!
- Wooden Painted Saints Tutorial
- What To Do With Painted Saints
- Passion Play with Wooden Painted Saints
- Snakes & Ladders with Wooden Painted Saints
- Checkers with Wooden Painted Saints
- Trouble with Wooden Painted Saints
- Kelly Saints Cathedral for the Wooden Painted Saints (NEW! This Week with Printable!)
Here are some awesome websites with more info about St Gemma!
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Do you have your own family activities, traditions, crafts or celebrations to share for this special Feast Day? Don’t forget to add it at the Celebrate the Saints Link-Up…or pick up an idea or two for your family to enjoy!