She was born March 12, 1878, in Tuscany, Italy. Her mother died when the little girl was seven, and her father (a pharmacist) raised their eight children. Yet his generosity to the poor and the cost of his wife's illness soon drained his finances. When he died 11 years after his wife, 18-year-old Gemma became responsible for her younger brothers and sisters ... and was pretty much penniless.
Relatives and friends tried to help the family as much as they could. But oftentimes, the children were reduced to begging on the streets. Gemma herself often went without food, in order to feed her young brothers and sisters. Despite her dire situation, she tried to give what little she could spare to the poor and unemployed who came to her door. She never lost hope that God would provide for her and her family.
In January, 1903, Gemma contracted tuberculosis. She died at age 25 on Holy Saturday, April 11, 1903.
Beatified in 1933, the decree approving the miracles was read on ths day in 1939. She was canonized in 1940. Her feast day is April 11.
- Little Black Book, Diocese of Saginaw