Not just the stigmata...

I said back in May that the Life of St Gemma Galgani had jumped the queue of books to be read. I didn't get very far - something else must have supervened - but have got into the book now. I wrote about her after my last visit to Rome (post: St Gemma Galgani)

The author of the book, Fr Germanus CP, was her spiritual director for a few years. He describes in detail the physical manifestation of her union with the Passion of Christ. This included not only the stigmata but the sweat of blood, the crowning with thorns and the scourging, as well as a wound on the shoulder from carrying the cross. These wounds would only appear for a time, shed copious amounts of blood, and then heal up completely. They were usually present from Thursday evening to Friday afternoon or Saturday morning.

These quite extraordinary physical signs do not make a saint, of course. Her holiness consisted, as it does for all saints, in her heroic virtue, and conformity with the will of God. When her confessor asked her to pray to Our Lord for the physical signs to stop, she did so sincerely - and they stopped.

The lesson that I am beginning to pick up from St Gemma's life is that we must meditate upon the Passion of Christ because it is so profitable spiritually to do so. I am sure that I read a short quotation from St Bonaventure today saying exactly this but I can't find it now...

... that's it! Train of thought: St Gemma Galgani - Passion - Anne Katherine Emmerich (another book I must read soon) - title page:
He who desires to go on advancing from virtue to virtue, from grace to grace, should meditate continually on the Passion of Jesus... There is no practice more profitable for the entire sanctification of the soul than the frequent meditation on the sufferings of Jesus Christ. (St Bonaventure)
As some of us used to say by way of an alternative to Archbishop Worlock's motto for the National Pastoral Congress in 1980: "We are the Good Friday people and Stabat Mater is our song."

The article "New Saints" from Time Magazine of 13 May 1940 tells of the ceremony of canonisation, silver trumpets and all. Here is the picture I posted before, from the Laus Crucis post on the canonisation.

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