Blessed Gemma of Goriano

detail of an antique holy card of Blessed Gemma of Goriano, date and artist unknownAlso known as

  • Gemma of Gordianum
  • Emma of…
  • The Virgin of Goriano Sicoli

Memorial

Profile

Born to a poor but pious farm family, they all moved into the village of Goriano Sicoli, diocese of Sulmona, Italy to try to improve their finances. Gemma was orphaned while still a young girl when both parents died in an epidemic; she lived with relatives and worked as a shepherdess, using her time in the fields to pray. She was such a beautiful young woman that Count Ruggero of Celano courted her, but Gemma was drawn to religious life and turned him down. He was so impressed with her dedication to her vocation that he built her a cell next to the church of San Giovanni in Goriano Sicoli positioned so that she could see the altar during Mass, and could give spiritual guidance to any who asked. She lived as an anchoress for her remaining 42 years.

Born

Died

  • 13 May 1439 in Goriano Sicoli, Italy of natural causes
  • miracles reported at her grave
  • body found incorrupt when exhumed
  • re-interred under the high altar of the church of San Giovanni in Goriano Sicoli
  • re-interred in a new church dedicated to her in 1613
  • re-interred in a new church dedicated to her in 1818
  • during World War II, a soldier began storing ammunition in the church; a young woman appeared and told him “Go away, this is my house.”; he went away
  • later in the war the front line, and all the fighting that went with it, was about to run through Goriano Sicoli; the villagers prayed for the intervention of Sante Gemma; six foot of snow fell, and the armies avoided the town

Beatified

Patronage

MLA Citation

  • “Blessed Gemma of Goriano“. CatholicSaints.Info. 13 May 2017. Web. 11 December 2017. <>