Saints of the Week
April 11 is the feast day of St. Gemma Galgani. Gemma was born in Italy in Italy in 1878 to a successful pharmacist. Her mother and one of brother would later die from tuberculosis, and she lost two other siblings as well. She wished to join an order known as the Passionists but she was rejected because of her health. She suffered from meningitis, but healed, which she attributed to divine intervention. She experienced intense visions and other mystical experiences, which included the stigmata. In Catholic spirituality, stigmata are the wounds of Christ, appearing miraculously on an individual, often while in a sate of religious ecstasy. Gemma died at age 25, and was canonized in 1940.
St. Stanislaus of Szczepanów
April 11 is also the feast day of Saint Stanislaus, patron saint of Poland, Krakow, and moral order. He was the bishop of Krakow and one of the earliest bishops native to Poland. He was martyred in 1079 by King Boleslaw of Poland, who Stanislaus had excommunicated. He was canonized by Pope Innocent IV on September 17 of 1253. In Poland, his feast is venerated on May 8, which was once assumed to be the date of his death. He’s the first native Polish saint, which is why he’s the patron of Poland and Krakow and some Polish dioceses. He shares Polish patronage with Saint Adalbert of Prague, Saint Florian, and Saint Mary. His relics are held at Wawel Cathedral, which is dedicated to him and Saint Wenceslaus, the good king of the song. He is often depicted with a sword, the weapon of his death.