mardi 4 octobre 2016

Sainte GALLA de ROME,

Sainte Galla

veuve à Rome (6ème s.)

Fille du consul Symmaque, après la mort de son mari, elle demeura auprès de la basilique de Saint-Pierre, pendant de nombreuses années, occupée à la prière, aux aumônes, aux jeûnes et aux autres œuvres saintes. Le pape saint Grégoire le Grand a décrit sa vie et son trépas à Rome au VIe siècle.

Martyrologe romain



St. Galla

A Roman widow of the sixth century; feast, 5 October. According to St. Gregory the Great (Dial. IV, ch. xiii) she was the daughter of the younger Symmachus, a learned and virtuous patrician of Rome, whom Theodoric had unjustly condemned to death (525). Becoming a widow before the end of the first year of her married life, she, still very young, founded a convent and hospital near St. Peter's, there spent the remainder of her days in austerities and works of mercy, and ended her life with an edifying death. The letter of St. Fulgentius of Ruspe, "De statu viduarum", is supposed to have been addressed to her. Her church in Rome, near the Piazza Montanara, once held a picture of Our Lady, which according to tradition represents a vision vouchsafed to St. Galla. It is considered miraculous and was carried in procession in times of pestilence. It is now over the high altar of Santa Maria in Campitelli.

Mershman, Francis. "St. Galla." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 6. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 4 Oct. 2016 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06348a.htm>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Michael C. Tinkler.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. September 1, 1909. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.

Saint Galla of Rome

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Born to the Roman nobility, the daughter Symmachus the Younger who served as consul in 485; sister-in-law of Boethius. Lay woman, marrying soon after her father‘s murder, but widowed after a year of marriage; legend says she grew a beard to avoid further offers of marriage. She became a wealthy and pious recluse on Vatican Hill, joining with a community of women near Saint Peter’s Basilica, caring for the poor and sick, she founded a convent and hospital. Reputed to have once healed a young deaf and mute girl by blessing some water, and having the girl drink from it.

A brief biography of her was written by Saint Gregory the Great in his Dialogues. Believed to have been the inspiration for Concerning the State of Widowhood written by Saint Fulgentius of Ruspe. An image now above the altar of Santa Maria in Campitelli, Italy and formally housed in a church dedicated to Galla, is thought to have been based on a vision Galla received of Our Lady.



St. Galla, Widow

SHE was daughter to Symmachus the Younger, the great, the most learned and virtuous patrician of Rome, whom Theodoric unjustly and barbarously put to death. 1 From her cradle she gave herself fervently to the service of God, and being married very young, lost her husband before the end of the first year. She could have yet pleased the world, and was strongly solicited and courted by it, but her only desire in it was to please God alone; and trampling upon the world amidst its honours and riches, she considered herself as freed by her state of widowhood from its distractions. Out of devotion to the apostles she chose for her dwelling a little cottage or cell near their tombs on the Vatican hill, where she never interrupted her devotions but by other good works. The revenues of her great estates were made the patrimony of the poor; and, by her austerities, which reduced her body to a mere skeleton, she made herself a holocaust to penance. The prayers and spiritual instructions to the greatest saints and prelates who at that time adorned the Western church, were a tribute to her piety and fervour; which, among other means of her sanctification, she sought with great earnestness. The pious letters which St. Fulgentius wrote to her from the place of his banishment, are extant amongst his works. After a train of tedious distempers, she was afflicted during the last years of her life with a cancer in her breast. She suffered extreme pains with incredible patience and resignation, and by them finished the martyrdom of her penance about the middle of the sixth age. See St. Gregory, Dial. l. 4, c. 13; St. Fulgentius’s Letters, Baronius, Sirmond, &c.

Note 1. On his extraordinary virtue and erudition, see Priscian, præf. in l. de Ponderibus et Mensuris, Procopius, l. 1, Hist. Gothorum a Grotio versæ. Boetius de Consol. Philos. l. 2, prosa 4, &c. Papebrochius in Joanne papa 1. t. 6, Maij, p. 704. [back]

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume X: October. The Lives of the Saints.  1866.


Santa Galla di Roma Vedova


Martirologio Romano: A Roma, santa Galla, che, figlia del console Simmaco, alla morte del marito attese per molti anni presso la chiesa di San Pietro alla preghiera, alle elemosine, ai digiuni e ad altre opere sante; il suo beato transito è stato narrato dal papa san Gregorio Magno.

Figlia di Q. Aurelio Memmio Simmaco, princeps senatus, per molti anni consigliere del re Teodorico, che però lo fece uccidere in Ravenna (525) per infondati sospetti di tradimento, fu data in sposa ad un giovane patrizio, di cui non si conosce il nome. Rimasta vedova dopo un anno, quantunque stimolata dai parenti e dai medici a nuove nozze, preferí consacrarsi a Dio dapprima nell'esercizio delle opere di misericordia e poi ritirandosi in un monastero nei pressi della basilica vaticana.

Qui visse, afferma s. Gregorio, molti anni "nella semplicità del cuore, dedita all'orazione, distribuendo larghe elemosine ai poveri". La decisione della giovane suscitò in Roma una salutare impressione, la cui eco si diffuse lontano. Dalla Sardegna, dove per la seconda volta si trovava in esilio, s. Fulgenzio di Ruspe (che forse in Roma aveva avuto occasione di conoscere la famiglia della santa) le indirizzò una bellissima lettera, quasi un trattatello in ventuno capitoli, in cui la conferma nella decisione presa e le impartisce consigli ascetici.

Prima di morire la santa ebbe una visione dell'apostolo s. Pietro che la invitava al cielo ed è questa la ragione per cui s. Gregorio ne parla nei suoi Dialogi, al libro IV, che ha lo scopo di dimostrare l'immortalità dell'anima attraverso apparizioni o visioni avute da anime elette. Secondo la tradizione le sarebbe apparsa la Vergine mentre ella attendeva alle consuete opere di carità. Il miracoloso avvenimento è ricordato da una pregevole opera a niello del sec. XI nella chiesa di S. Maria in Portico in Campitelli. La festa commemorativa di tale apparizione, per concessione della Congregazione dei Riti, si celebra in Roma il 17 luglio, mentre s. Galla nel Martirologio Romano è commemorata il 5 ottobre. Verso la metà del sec. XVII sorse in Roma, per opera di M. A. Anastasio Odescalchi, cugino del b. Innocenzo XI, un ospizio di carità intitolato alla santa, in cui s. Giovanni B. De Rossi svolse molti anni di attività e raggruppò in speciale associazione i sacerdoti dediti ad opere di apostolato tra le classi piú umili. Dal 1940 alla santa è dedicata in Roma una chiesa parrocchiale.


Autore: Battista Proja