Transferred Feast of St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, patron of handguns and gun owners

“Gabriel of the Seven Sorrows, who died on this day in 1862, may be seen as a kind of male Saint Thérèse, but, as in all things male and female, different; Both were difficult, wilful children, but managed, by the grace of God, to bend those wills to God’s will…

…against all the contrary counsel and advice of his relatives, committed himself to the novitiate of the Passionists in their monastery at the foot of Gran Sasso mountain (a truly lovely spot), taking the name Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows. His fellow brothers did not recall anything remarkable in his short life, except, as mentioned, that he strove to keep the rule perfectly, and was always cheerful. His brethren enjoyed spending time at his bedside during his protracted illness, and just before he died in the early morning hours of February 27th, 1862, Gabriel sat up in bed, and opened his arms as though he were being welcomed by someone, with a look of indescribable joy. It was the general opinion that the Virgin Mary herself had brought his soul straight to heaven. He was just 23 years old.

“Saint Gabriel Possenti, besides being the patron saint of youth, students, seminarians and clerics, is also the patron saint of gun owners, due to a legend that he once scared off with a handgun a band of Garibaldi Red Shirts, that, Italian revolutionaries who were threatening the monastery and village. He demonstrating his proficiency to them by picking off a lizard with deadly accuracy, and they scattered. Just so.”

Saint Gabriel Possenti, ora pro nobis! +

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