If you are planning
a pilgrimage to Lucca and/or Rome to visit the tomb of St. Gemma
Galgani and other important holy places relating to her life, I
recommend the following itinerary. (Note: I, as the owner of StGemma.com,
make no monetary gain in providing these travel suggestions. Also note: The Churches/places listed in this intinerary (below) are currently under the control of the unlawful Vatican II sect's, "government in Rome." Use extreme caution.)
One can easily
fly into the major airport in Pisa International Airport Galileo
Galilei in Pisa, Italy and take a taxi or train to Lucca. A pleasant
and affordable hotel to stay at, which is located at the foothills
of the Alps in Gragnano (Lucca), is the Hotel Country Club. Single
rooms are only $51 (US) per night and there is an excellent restaurant
attached to the hotel. Most important, it is right on the bus line
and only 6 miles from the Passionists Nuns Monastery, which houses
the tomb/body of St. Gemma Galgani.
Club’s address is:
Via Pesciantina 874
55010 Gragnano-Capannori (Lucca)
TEL. O583/434.404 r.a. (6 linee)
There are also
very important items/relics related to St. Gemma Galgani and the
Passionists in Rome (such as her autobiography that was burned by
the devil) that are well worth seeing.
1. St. Gemma's
Sanctuary - Address: Fuori Porta Elisa 55100 Lucca, Italy -
Tel. 0583/91724 - in this Passionists Monastery dedicated to St.
Gemma, you will see the glorious Saint Gemma Galgani entombed under
the altar in a bronze sepulcher. There you can also find the tombs
of Father Germano, her spiritual director, and Monsignor
Volpi, her regular confessor. Outside the church there is a little
bookshop which has many books in several languages about St. Gemma.
There are also statues, photos, souvenirs, and holy cards available.
In the bookshop, on the left side, you can see a little "museum"
with some of St. Gemma's clothes, her shoes, personal objects, books
she used to read for prayer, etc. There is a very kind lady who
works there whose name is Maria. She is responsible for taking people
to visit "Casa Galgani," which is St. Gemma's house where
she received the Holy Stigmata. The Sanctuary and the museum-bookshop
are open every day from: 9:00 to 12:00 and from 15:00 to 18:00.
At noon Maria takes people to visit Casa Galgani. You need to ask
her for this free tour because she has the keys and knows everything
about St. Gemma's sacred home. You can see St. Gemma’s clothes,
a kind of orthopedic brace she wore because of her sickness, her
comb, a beautiful quilt she made, etc.
Giannini"- Address: Via del Seminario, 10 - Lucca- Tel. (0583)
48237 (open from 9:00 to 12:00/12:30 and from 15:00 to 18:00/19:00).
This is the Giannini family’s home. In this house St. Gemma lived
her last four years. The house now belongs to the St. Gemma's Sisters,
a congregation founded by Eufemia Giannini (one of the eleven children
of this pious family), who became a Nun and changed her name to
"Gemma Giannini." She is known as "Madre Gemma Giannini." In this
beautiful house you can see many interesting things. In the dinning
room you will find the famous crucifix which lovingly embraced Gemma
and the place where St. Gemma used to sit to dine. In the garden
there is a little well into which she threw herself during a temptation.
There is also a staircase where St. Gemma fell, thrown by the devil.
On the second floor you can see the box where she used put her letters
for her Guardian Angel to deliver. You can also see her bed, the
statue of The Virgin Mary her mother gave to her and the study where
a photo was taken of her while she was in ecstasy. You should ask
one of the Sisters to take you to the "Chiesa della Rosa," which
is the church where St. Gemma attended Mass. Also ask to see the
room where she passed away. Both of these sites are on the other
side of "Casa Giannini." In the church "Chiesa della Rosa" you can
see the place where St. Gemma used to sit (it is specifically marked).
You can also view the confessional where St. Gemma used to confess.
3. St. Gemma’s
Birth House - The St. Gemma's Sisters own St. Gemma’s birth
house (Casa Madre). Address: Via della Chiesa,1
-Camigliano S. Gemma (Lucca) Tel. (0583) 927165. It's not in Lucca,
but in a little village in Lucca's neighborhood. You should take
a bus to Camigliano-St. Gemma (this is the name) the bus stop is
near the Sanctuary. The ride takes about 15 to 20 minutes to arrive
at her birth house. Very close to the front of her birth house you
will find a house of St. Gemma's Sisters, where Mother
Gemma Giannini is buried.
di San Martino" - St. Martin's Cathedral - there you'll find
the Volto Santo or "Holy Face" image of Christ which was
miraculously carved by Nicodemus and has been a historic place of
pilgrimage for more than 1,000 years. St. Gemma herself visited
this shrine often during her life. Also be sure to take the tour
of St. Martin’s Cathedral "museum" which is located right next to
5. The Sisters
of St. Zita (also called Zitine) - this congregation was founded
by Elena Guerra. She had a particular devotion to the Holy
Ghost and wrote many books about this devotion. Elena Guerra
was one of St. Gemma's school teachers. Be sure to ask one of the
Zitine sisters to show you the original teacher's notes that were
kept about St. Gemma. Also, in the church you can see Elena
6. San Frediano
Church - here you can see St. Zita's body.
(Church) di S. Michele in Piazza S. Michele.
(Church) di S. Maria Bianca - it's near "Casa Giannini."
- Scala Santa (Holy Stairs)
don’t forget to include in your pilgrimage a visit to the Scala
Santa (Holy Stairs) in Rome. This is where Catholic pilgrims
for centuries have ascended on their knees in an act of penitence,
the same stairs (originally from Jerusalem) that Jesus was led up
and down by Pilate several times during His Sorrowful Passion. A
Catholic can obtain a plenary apostolic indulgence, applicable to
the Poor Souls in Purgatory, every time they ascend these steps
on their knees. This sacred site, which is maintained by the Passionists
Order, has been considered by several Popes to be the holiest place
be St. Gemma Galgani!