If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone
ST GEMMA GALGANI
Gemma Galgani was born in Tuscany in 1878.
Gemma’s thoughts and feelings were all for Jesus (Gemma of Lucca, page 45). Gemma had a liking for being physically abused for once when her brother was angry for he could not get to the theatre she tried to calm him down and he struck her. The nuns asked her about her black eye and she told them she deserved it (page 67). She seemed to enjoy ill treatment (page 71). This makes me find it unsurprising that she soon developed the stigmata. She permitted Mgr Volpi to come one Friday to witness her having the stigmata and said they would not appear unless he came alone. She did not want a doctor to accompany him. She was afraid of the doctor because he would be able to tell better than the priest if she were faking. She changed her mind later for when the doctor and the priest arrived she was bleeding and the doctor watched her for a few moments and washed her head and her hands. With the blood off the wounds were no longer visible. If blood is put on artistically it can look as if there is a wound. The doctor actually stated that he was sure she was making herself bleed with needles. Her excuse for there having been no wounds was that the Mgr had brought a doctor against her wishes (pages 74-75). She admitted that she was a greater sinner than her immoral brother (page 92). A faker could say that. The Mgr had doubts about her (page 107). And a Father Gaetano who was bitterly opposed to her washed her wounds and began to believe and repented. The blood flowed when she was in ecstasy and when it was washed off there was no bleeding for a moment and then it started. This is strange. Was she cut inside the mouth and spitting the blood?
She was once found lying in blood as if she had been scourged and the marks were found to match the scourges on her crucifix (page 143, The Bleeding Mind). The fact that she was alone when she got the marks and that they matched a mere image suggest she may have injured herself in a fit of hysteria. Fr Germano said that the wounds were sometimes apparently superficial and he said they were deep at other times and passed through the hand but admitted that he was not sure of this (The Bleeding Mind, page 67). This shows how prejudiced he was in her favour and he was determined to make assumptions about her without proof. She went into ecstasy frequently during her stigmata and that was his chance to see if he could get his fingers through for she was shut off from what went on around her. When the scabs came off there were no marks and he attributed this to the wounds closing when the bleeding ceased. He said that the fissure would appear under the skin and it would burst and there would be no marks later (The Bleeding Mind, page 66). Did she use some kind of dye to make it seem that she was wounded under the skin?
One final thought, psychic surgeons claim to be able to put their hands into the body and pull out tumours and fix hernias and there is blood and organs pulled out but when the surgery is over there is no evidence that there was ever an incision. They charge a fortune for their work. Many people claim to have checked them out and found no evidence of fraud. Magicians can duplicate all their feats with clever trickery and sleight of hand – it’s an illusion. Some use fake thumb extensions which contain the blood and the steak which they pretend to pull out of the patient. You would expect the people “operated” on by the psychic surgeons to know by the feeling around their bellies or wherever than something was going on and that it was not supernatural. But this never happens. Many imagine they have felt the hands going into the body – people can imagine things like that, its autosuggestion. You can get people who swear that psychic surgeons who were caught cheating were not frauds. We know that they would have to be frauds for if you can make your hands open a body through a magical cut that magically disappears you should be able to lay your hands on the belly and simply make the tumour or whatever vanish without the blood and gore. You have a miracle that is in essence harder to fake than stigmata and still fakery is taking place. You have a miracle that is seen happening unlike stigmata in which it is mostly the results of the miracle, the wounds, that are seen. With psychic surgery you think you see actual penetration of the body by the hands or medical instruments and yet no mark is left after the surgery. That is far better than stigmata. Like stigmatists there have been psychic surgeons who were lucky enough never to have got caught. We know they can’t all be real. Some of those who were never caught cheating have been found to have claimed to have remove tumours that were subsequently found in hospitals never to have been removed at all. Stigmatists have undoubtedly encouraged believers in psychic surgeons for when people hear of stigmata and believe in it they take them as evidence that psychic surgeons can do strange things too. Psychic surgery is the cruellest con out there and nobody would accept stigmata and encourage it unless they were chummy with the Devil.
Gemma once was instructed in the convent she joined by her confessor not to talk to Jesus or to entertain the apparition until he permitted her (Gemma of Lucca, page 133). She did so. Jesus still appeared though. Would the Son of God appear to a woman to try and induce her to do something against her conscience? She was lying or she was mad or her Jesus was a Devil. This should have told both of them that something that was sinful to tolerate was going on and neither of them cared. Gemma had the symptoms of demonic possession (page 188). Jesus said that if a man is delivered from a demon and does not live in holiness it will come back if it finds nowhere better to go. This implies that possession is a sign that a person has handed themselves over to the powers of darkness. Galgani does not fit Deuteronomy 18 as a true prophet of God for when God says a prophet who speaks anything that is not from God is a fake and to be ignored it follows that anybody who might be in communion with demons should get the same treatment.
She died in 1903.