Patron Saint of back pain & spinal illnesses disorders (2022)

Saint Gemma is commonly considered the Patron Saint of Pharmacists, loss of parents, those suffering with back illnesses, back injury or pain, those struggling with temptations and those seeking purity of heart. The following are explanations of why she is the patroness of each.

Patron Saint of those suffering with back pain, spinal injury or illnesses.Beginning in early 1898, Gemma became seriously ill with what was believed to be spinal tuberculosis. Not only did her back pain become severe, it also became necessary for her to wear an iron back brace (see photo of Gemma's back brace above), and as the disease progressed, she eventually became completely bedridden, being able to move only her head and arms. This spinal diseased progrssed for about one and a half years, until her miraculous cure on March 3, 1899, after making a Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

To begin with, the spinal tuberculosis and accompanying spinal tumors were diagnosed late because Gemma experienced a feeling of extreme repugnance at the very idea of medical examinations. She mentions these details herself in her Autobiography:
“Already for a long time I had felt pain in that part, but I did not want to touch it or look at it, because when I was a little child I had heard in a sermon that our bodies were the temples of the Holy Ghost. These words impressed me, and so far as I have been able I have carefully guarded my body. What agony I suffered when I had to submit to a medical examination. Every time I heard the doctor coming I used to cry. "

But since Gemma's back condition was continually growing worse she could no longer hide it. She was now subject to violent headaches. She became deaf. Her hair fell out, and her members became paralysed. The doctor was sent for. Her Aunt, Elisa Galgani made good use of the authority she had over Gemma, for she knew that her desire to be obedient was the only means of overcoming her repugnance to seeing a doctor.

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At his first examination, Dr Del Prete found that Gemma had an advanced abscess in the lumbar (lower back) region, which seemed to communicate with the spine. To make sure he decided upon a consultation, and the result was a verdict that she was suffering from tuberculosis of the spine -a serious disease and very difficult to cure.

The first abscess was followed by another. It was lanced again and again and medicated glycerine injected into it. When Gemma heard that among other remedies the doctor intended to try the cauterizing iron, she asked him smilingly as if the question referred to some other person: 'Doctor, are you going to do the cauterizing?' During that operation the patient, as is easy to understand, suffers a great deal, but on the testimony of the doctors Gemma never uttered a word, and bore the pain calmly and almost with indifference.

These remedies made her no better, and she passed her days and nights lying in the same position, unless someone helped her to change it. And in this state she remained for a year. After the operation referred to above she had to wear an iron corset, which had to be ordered from a man in Pisa named Redini, who came on purpose to Lucca to fit it on. It was very heavy and uncomfortable according to Elisa Galgani--and Gemma, who wore it day and night with only her hands free, was as it were crucified. Her confessor, Monsignor Volpi, who was at this time spiritual director to the Visitation Nuns at Lucca, had spoken about her, and so had Father Andrew Bartoloni, the parish priest of St. Frediano's, who came frequently to visit her and to bring her Holy Communion. The latter deposed:

‘Every Saturday I brought her Holy Communion. She used to go to confession to Monsignor Volpi, who is my cousin. She was attacked by a disease which some said was spinal; others said it was paralysis, others Pott's disease (spinal tuberculosis). I could not say exactly. It was for the fifteen Saturdays called the Saturdays of Pompei that I brought her Holy Communion. I brought her Holy Communion on a few other occasions, for she was ill for many months. On one occasion when I visited her I had just returned from France, where I had said Mass at Paray-le- Monial. She seemed very interested in the Sanctuary there and asked me about the devotion to Blessed Margaret Mary which was practised there.'

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Patron Saint of back pain & spinal illnesses disorders (1)

And while Don Andrew Bartoloni was answering Gemma's questions, on his side he received, in compensation, great edification. He tells us this himself:
‘Through her illness she was, as it were, rigid. She could raise only her head and shoulders a little. She used to say to me: " See, I am crucified; I cannot move." But nevertheless she never uttered a word of complaint. She was always jovial, smiling and peaceful. It seemed to me that she had a most extraordinary resignation. She had her Rosary or a holy picture always in her hand or under her pillow. Even the family seemed peaceful, because Gemma was so calm. Sometimes when I was leaving the house, they said to me: "Isn't Gemma remarkably resigned?"
By the beginning of January 1899 she was completely bedridden due to the continuing debilitation of her spine, with little hope for recovery. As a last ditch effort, on January 4th, the Doctors cauterized her in 12 places along her spine. This procedure did not help whatsoever and she grew steadily worse. Fearing death was near, on February 2nd, 1899 she was given Viaticum (Extreme Unction or the Sacrament of the Sick as it is known today). In her Autobiography she writes-
“On the second of February I confessed and I received Viaticum and awaited the moment for going to Jesus. The doctors, whispering thinking I could not hear, said among themselves that I would not live until midnight. Viva Jesu!”

To summarize the remainder of what happened, she was miraculously cured with the help of Venerable (now a Saint) Brother Gabriel Possenti C.P. on March 3, 1899, the First Friday of the month, which is devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, after making a Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Br. Gabriel appeared to her each night of the Novena in a series of visions and encouraged her, and helped her to pray the Novena prayers. Concerning her miraculous cure in her Autobiography she writes-

"I sent for my confessor and went to Confession. The next morning I recieved Communion. What happy moments I spent with Jesus! He kept repeating to me, Gemma, do you wish to be cured?" I was so moved that I could not answer. Poor Jesus! The grace had been given. I was cured.

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"My daughter" Jesus said, embracing me. "I give myself entirely to you and you will be entirely mine"

On that morning, she left her sick bed for good, however, her spine and the surrounding muscles were not completely healed, and she continued to wear the iron back brace for two more months, until God in His goodness and mercy, chose to cure her completely. Concerning this, in her Autobiography we read that two months after her miraculous cure, thus no longer bedridden and able to walk, she made a retreat with the Visitandine Sisters (Nuns of the Visitation of Mary), hoping to obtain admission as a Nun in their Order.

“With the permission of the Mother Superior and the entire community, I then asked permission of the Archbishop to remain there, but he would not grant it, saying that my health was still so poor that I was wearing an iron brace on my back to hold it straight (I haven't the slightest idea who told the Archbishop). The Mother Superior commanded me under obedience, therefore, to take off the back brace. I wept on receiving this command because I well knew that I could not do without it. I ran to the novitiate and prayed to my dear Child Jesus. Then I hastened to my room. I took it off, and though nearly two years have passed since then, I have never worn the brace again and I am doing very well.”
Therefore, those suffering from back pain or back injuries have a most compassionate and understanding patron and friend in Saint Gemma!

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"Oh Father, what terrible temptations these are! All temptations are painful, but these against holy purity torment me the most! What I undergo is known only to Jesus, who secretly guards me and He is pleased with me."
In ecstacy she says-

"....But to come to heaven requires purity of heart; give it to me, my Jesus....Yes, I so desire purity of heart!"
In her childhood, Gemma’s saintly mother Aurelia taught Gemma to say 3 Hail Mary prayers, kneeling with her knees on top of her hands, while praying to the Blessed Mother for purity. Gemma continued this pious practice until her death.

She is also the Patron Saint of Orphans (loss of parents) because her mother (Aurelia) died when Gemma was only 8 years old, and her Father (Enrico) died when she was 18, leaving Gemma and her remaining brothers and sisters orphaned and in poverty –the poverty due to her fathers illness prior to his death..

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Finally, St Gemma is the Patron Saint of Pharmacists because her Father Enrico was a Pharmacist, and supported her and her family in this occupation until his early death at age 57.

Those who suffer with back pain or spinal injuries may be inspired to read here of a recent grace given to a back injury sufferer who received the heavenly help and intercession of Saint Gemma.

“What is sweeter than to be filled with the thought of Jesus, and to kneel before that Divine Victim of love and sorrow—A Victim for my sins, my salvation and for the salvation of souls?" -St Gemma Galgani


Patron Saint of back pain & spinal illnesses disorders? ›

Maria Gemma Umberta Galgani (12 March 1878 – 11 April 1903), also known as Saint Gemma of Lucca, was an Italian mystic, venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church since 1940.

Who is the patron saint of neuropathy? ›

Saint Dymphna
Feast15 May (30 May in the 2004 Martyrologium Romanum)
Attributescrown, sword, lily, lamp
Patronagerunaways, mental disorders, neurological disorders, victims of incest, victims of sexual assault, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders
5 more rows

What illness did St Gemma Galgani have? ›

Throughout the rest of her brief life, Gemma continued to learn from her guardian angel and pray for people who were suffering -- even as she suffered from another illness: tuberculosis. Gemma died at age 25 on April 11, 1903, which was the day before Easter. Pope Pius XII canonized Gemma as a saint in 1940.

Which saint do you pray to for pain? ›

Saint Raphael the Archangel, the patron saint of healing, intervenes to heal people from any type of brokenness and pain in the earthly dimension and looks forward to welcoming them to lives in heaven, where they won't need to be healed of anything anymore because they will live in perfect health as God intends.

How do I pray for back pain? ›

I come to You now asking that You would work a full recovery in my body - whatever is causing this persistent problem. I pray that You would, in Your mercy, give me back the health and strength I need. Guide me along the path that You have planned for me.

Who is the patron saint for back pain? ›

Saint Gemma Galgani

Who is the patron saint of chronic pain? ›

Lidwina (Lydwine, Lydwid, Lidwid, Liduina of Schiedam) (1380-1433) was a Dutch mystic who is honored as a saint by the Catholic Church. She is the patron saint of the town of Schiedam and of chronic pain.

What is St Donald the patron saint of? ›

Donald, Patron Saint of Denial.

What is Saint Blaise known for? ›

He is venerated as the patron saint of sufferers from throat diseases and of wool combers and as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. According to tradition, Blaise was of noble birth and, after being educated in the Christian faith, was made bishop of Sebastia.

Who is the patron saint of arthritis? ›

Saint Alphonsus Liguori is the Patron Saint of Arthritis.

Who is the patron saint of physical healing? ›

Saint Raphael the Archangel is the patron saint of healing. In Hebrew, his name literally means "God heals." We can find Raphael in the Old Testament Book of Tobit, where he is revealed as a healer of mind, body and spirit.

What is the most powerful Catholic prayer for healing? ›

I trust in Your power and grace that sustain and restore me. Loving Father, touch me now with Your healing hands, for I believe that Your will is for me to be well in mind, body, soul and spirit. Cover me with the Most Precious Blood of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, from the top of my head to the soles of my feet.

What do you pray to St Raphael for? ›

The Archangel Raphael plays a prominent role in the Book of Tobit, in which he brings about the healing of Tobit's blindness and the marital union of Tobias and Sarah. As such his saintly patronage includes healing and matchmaking.

What is the most powerful healing prayer? ›

"The Most Powerful Healing Prayer" - Padre Pio - YouTube

What does the Bible say about dealing with physical pain? ›

Isaiah 41:10 - God strengthens you

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. God has promised us His strength. He will never give you a trial you are unable to handle.

When do you pray to St Anthony? ›

Some people believe that when the prayer is said in the evening, you'll stand a greater chance of successfully finding your lost item. Others say that it is more effective if you pray while kneeling on holy ground near an object associated with St Anthony, which can be a statue or a picture of him.

What is St Philip Neri known for? ›

Philip Romolo Neri (/ˈnɪəri/ NEER-ee; Italian: Filippo Romolo Neri; 22 July 1515 – 26 May 1595), known as the Second Apostle of Rome, after Saint Peter, was an Italian priest noted for founding a society of secular clergy called the Congregation of the Oratory.

Is Donald a saint's name? ›

St. Donald of Ogilvy was an early Scottish saint who died in the early 8th century. Donald is associated with Ogilvy (in the former Forfarshire).

Is there a saint Dylan? ›

Saint Teilo (Latin: Teliarus or Teliavus; Breton: Teliau or Telo; French: Télo or Théleau; c.
Saint Teilo
Bornc. 500 Penally, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Diedc. 560 Llandeilo Fawr
Venerated inCatholic Church Eastern Orthodox Church
Feast9 February (Wales) 25 November (Brittany) 29 November (Dol)
2 more rows

When is the feast of St Blaize? ›

He is recognised as the saint of throat disease or 'The Blessing of the Throats' in the Roman Catholic Church. Saint Blaise Day is celebrated on the 3rd of February each year by Christians globally.

Who is the patron saint of the neck? ›

Saint Blaise (sometimes spelled Blase) is best known today as the patron saint of those with throat troubles because he once cured a child who was choking on a fish bone.

What is Saint Peter's symbol? ›

The Cross of Saint Peter or Petrine Cross is an inverted Latin cross, traditionally used as a Christian symbol, but in recent times also used as an anti-Christian symbol. In Christianity, it is associated with the martyrdom of Peter the Apostle.

Who is the patron saint of autoimmune diseases? ›

Saint Lupus (French: Loup, Leu, (Welsh: Bleiddian) ( c.

Who is the patron saint of diabetes? ›

Saint Josemaria Escriva is the Patron Saint of Diabetes.

Who is the patron saint of laughter? ›

Philip Neri: Patron Saint of Laughter and Joy.

What is the most powerful prayer for a miracle? ›

Prayer For Instant Miracle | Powerful Prayer for a Miracle Today - YouTube

How do you pray for a medical miracle? ›

Loving God, I pray that you will comfort me in my suffering, lend skill to the hands of my healers, and bless the means used for my cure. Give me such confidence in the power of your grace, that even when I am afraid, I may put my whole trust in you; through our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

How do Catholics ask God for a miracle? ›

To pray to God for a miracle, ask him in clear and simple language to grant you your specific desires. While you're praying, channel any emotions that arise to help you express yourself to God. Have faith that He will answer your prayer to remove the burden of doubt from your heart and give you strength.

Who is the patron saint of leg pain? ›

Servatius of Tongeren
Saint Servatius
Major shrineBasilica of Saint Servatius, Maastricht
Feast13 May
AttributesSo-called "Key of Saint Servatius", crozier, dragon (under his feet)
PatronageInvoked against: foot troubles, lameness, rheumatism, rats and mice
4 more rows

Who is the patron saint of orthopedic problems? ›

Stanisław Kostka S.J. (28 October 1550 – 15 August 1568) was a Polish novice of the Society of Jesus. He is venerated in the Catholic Church as Saint Stanislaus Kostka (as distinct from his namesake, the 11th-century Bishop of Kraków Stanislaus the Martyr).

What is saint Vitus the patron saint of? ›

VITUS, the son of a pagan Sicilian senator, was converted to Christianity by his nurse and later martyred. He became the patron saint of nervous disorders for casting an evil spirit out of the son of the Emperor Diocletian.

Who is the patron saint of diabetes? ›

Saint Josemaria Escriva is the Patron Saint of Diabetes.


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