Post by Elizabeth on Apr 12, 2019 2:09:29 GMT
Saint Gemma Galgani
Saint Gemma Galgani was born at Camigliano in Tuscany, Italy, in 1878. Her mother died when she was seven years old, and from that time on her life was one of continuous suffering. Her afflictions were caused by ill-health, by the poverty into which her family fell, by the scoffing of those who took offense at her practices of devotion, and finally, by the physical attacks of the devil. Through it all, however, she remained at peace and enjoyed constant communion with our Lord, who spoke to her as if He were bodily present. She earnestly desired to be a Passionist nun, but was not accepted because of her physical infirmities.
She was the subject of various extraordinary supernatural phenomena — visions, ecstasies, revelations, supernatural knowledge, conversations with her visible Guardian Angel, prophecy and miracles. Her director verified that letters which she wrote and committed to the care of her good Angel were infallibly delivered. Saint Gemma had periodically occurring stigmata between 1899 and 1901. At one time during her sufferings, she was asked: If Jesus gave you the choice between two alternatives, either going immediately to heaven and having your sufferings disappear, or else remaining here in suffering to procure still more glory for the Lord, which would you choose? She answered: I prefer to remain here rather than going to heaven, when it is a question of suffering for Jesus and His glory. She died on Holy Saturday in 1903 and was canonized in 1940.
Saint Leo the Great
Saint Leo was born in Rome. He embraced the sacred ministry, was made Archdeacon of the Roman Church by Pope Saint Celestine, and under the same Vicar of Christ and Saint Sixtus III, had a large share in governing the Church. On the death of Sixtus, Leo was chosen Pope, and consecrated on Saint Michael's day, 440, amid great joy.
It was the time of terrible trial which preceded by thirty years the definitive fall of the Roman Empire. Vandals and Huns were wasting the provinces of the empire, and Nestorians, Pelagians, and other heretics wrought still more grievous havoc in souls. While Leo's zeal was making headway against these perils, there arose the new heresy of Eutyches, who confounded the two natures of Christ. At once the vigilant pastor proclaimed the true doctrine of the Incarnation in his famous tome; but fostered by the Byzantine court, the heresy gained a strong hold upon the Eastern monks and bishops. After three years of unceasing toil, Saint Leo brought about its solemn condemnation by the Council of Chalcedon, the Fathers all signing his tome, and exclaiming, Peter has spoken by Leo.
Soon after, Attila with his Huns broke into Italy, and marched through its razed cities upon Rome. Leo went out boldly to meet him, and prevailed on him to turn back. His chieftains were astonished to see the terrible Attila, the Scourge of God, fresh from the sack of Aquileia, Milan and Pavia and with the rich prize of Rome within his grasp, turn his great host back to the Danube at the Saint's word. They asked him why he had acted so strangely. He told them he had seen two venerable personages — who are generally supposed to be Saints Peter and Paul — standing behind Saint Leo; and impressed by this vision, he withdrew. Two years later the city fell a prey to the Vandals, but Leo saved it again from total destruction. He died in 461 after having ruled the Church for a little over twenty years.