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Saint Gabriel Of Our Lady Of Sorrows Feb. 27 breski1 Feb 27, 2010 Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows (born Francesco Possenti March 1, 1838 – February 27, 1862) was an Italian Passionist clerical …More
Saint Gabriel Of Our Lady Of Sorrows Feb. 27

breski1 Feb 27, 2010 Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows (born Francesco Possenti March 1, 1838 – February 27, 1862) was an Italian Passionist clerical student. Born to a professional family, he gave up hopes of a secular career to enter the Passionist Conregation. His life in the monastery was not extraordinary, yet he followed the rule of the congregation perfectly and was known for his great devotion to the sorrows of the Virgin Mary. He died from tuberculosis at the age of 23. He was canonized by Pope Benedict XV in 1920.
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TODAY: February 27, 2011
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FEBRUARY 27, 2011 DAILY PRAYER WITH REGNUM CHRISTI WHO IS MY MASTER? February 27, 2011 Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time Father Robert DeCesare, LC Matthew 6:24-34 Jesus said to his disciples: "No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. Therefore I tell you, do not worry …More
FEBRUARY 27, 2011 DAILY PRAYER WITH REGNUM CHRISTI WHO IS MY MASTER? February 27, 2011 Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time Father Robert DeCesare, LC Matthew 6:24-34 Jesus said to his disciples: "No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you--you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear?' For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today." Introductory Prayer: Once again, Lord, I come to you to pray. Even though I cannot see you, I trust that you are present and I want very much for you to instruct me through your teachings. In the same way you demonstrate your love for me by spending this time with me, I want to express my love for you by dedicating this time to you with a spirit of faith, confidence and attention. Here I am, Lord, to listen to you and respond with love. Petition: Lord, help me to put you first in my life. 1. "No One Can Serve Two Masters" "Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit" (Romans 8:5). The two are opposed. There is a constant battle going on within, between the flesh and the spirit. The one wants to master the other. "I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand" (Romans 7:21). Since the spirit is against the flesh and the flesh against the spirit, no one can fool himself into thinking he can serve both. It is impossible to serve both masters, because one is pitted against the other. 2. "You Cannot Serve God and Wealth" Saint Thomas More had helped a young family friend, Richard Rich. But when Saint Thomas was arrested, Richard Rich's envy and love of power led him to testify falsely against More in order to secure his own position at court. Envy and unbridled ambition can destroy our souls. This illustrates the clash in our soul between defining ourselves either by who we are or by what we have. Pope John Paul II wrote in Fides et Ratio: "The values of being are replaced by those of having. The only goal which counts is the pursuit of one's own material well-being. The so-called ‘quality of life' is interpreted primarily or exclusively as economic efficiency, inordinate consumerism, physical beauty and pleasure, to the neglect of the more profound dimensions - interpersonal, spiritual and religious - of existence" (no. 23). The two poles are at odds, and we are caught in the middle, having to choose one of them, as we cannot choose both. 3. "Strive First for the Kingdom of God" What good will it do us if we concern ourselves with this world, only to lose what is most important, our happiness in the next world? What else matters but the kingdom of God? We are called to seek this kingdom, and to seek it here and now. Striving for the kingdom of God demands the best from us, but is not oppressive. It calls for us always to seek to do good and avoid evil. It calls for us to deny our inner tendency towards worldly goods and pleasures and to seek to become more and more like Christ. When we act as we are supposed to, we are striving for God's kingdom. Conversation with Christ: Lord, I want to leave behind me all those attractions that keep me from putting you first. I know that it will be a struggle. I want to master myself for you. Help me to put you first, above all else in my life, so that I may truly strive for the kingdom of heaven. Resolution: I will make a small sacrifice in order to grow in the virtue I need most. meditation.regnumchristi.org
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Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows (born Francesco Possenti March 1, 1838 – February 27, 1862) was an Italian Passionist clerical student. Born to a professional family, he gave up hopes of a secular career to enter the Passionist Conregation. His life in the monastery was not extraordinary, yet he followed the rule of the congregation perfectly and was known for his great devotion to the …More
Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows (born Francesco Possenti March 1, 1838 – February 27, 1862) was an Italian Passionist clerical student. Born to a professional family, he gave up hopes of a secular career to enter the Passionist Conregation. His life in the monastery was not extraordinary, yet he followed the rule of the congregation perfectly and was known for his great devotion to the sorrows of the Virgin Mary. He died from tuberculosis at the age of 23. He was canonized by Pope Benedict XV in 1920.
Early life
Francesco Possenti was born on March 1, 1838, the eleventh of thirteen children born to his mother, Agnes, and his father, Sante. The family were then resident in the town of Assisi where Sante worked for the local government. Possenti was baptised on the day of his birth in the same font in which Saint Francis of Assisi had been baptised. [1] Shortly after Francis' birth Sante Possenti was transferred to a post at Montalta and thence to Spoleto where, in 1841, he was appointed legal assessor. In Spoleto the family was struck with a number of bereavements: the deaths of a baby girl, Rosa, in December 1841; of seven-year-old Adele in January 1842; and of Francis’ mother, Agnes, in 1842.[2]
As a child and young man, Francis Possenti was well liked by his peers and had a reputation for great charity and piety. He was also known for the great care he took with regard to his appearance and would spend hours in preparing himself for parties. Francis could be a difficult child and was liable to bouts of anger. Francis was deeply involved with the social scene of Spoleto and soon earned for himself the nickname of "the dancer".[3] He had several romantic involvements and on the night he left for the monastery there were still hopes that he might become engaged to a local girl. He was educated first by the Christian Brothers and then by the Jesuits in the town’s college and there excelled, particularly in Latin. In 1851 Francis became desperately ill and promised to enter religious life if he recovered. Once he had recovered, his promise was soon forgotten. The same thing happened when he narrowly escaped a stray bullet during a hunting expedition with friends[4] His brother Paul had died in 1848 and his brother Lawrence committed suicide in 1853 after becoming involved with a Masonic organisation. In 1853 Francis again fell ill, this time afflicted with a throat abscess. He attributed his healing to the recently beatified Andrew Bobola, SJ. Once more he had promised to enter religious life upon his recovery and this time actually set the process in motion. He applied to join the Jesuits, but for some unknown reason never proceeded. Tragedy struck again when his sister, Mary Louisa, who had cared for Francis after their mother’s death, died of cholera.
Vocation
After the cholera epidemic that killed Gabriel's sister ended, Spoleto clergy and civic authorities organised a procession of the ancient icon of the Virgin Mary in Spoleto’s cathedral. Francis attended the procession and as the image passed by him, he felt an interior voice asking why he remained in the world. This event was the galvanising force behind the first serious steps in Francis’ religious vocation. [5] After the procession he sought the advice of a priest and resolved to enter the Passionist Congregation. As there was no Passionist house near Spoleto, it is most likely that Francis’ choice was based on a personal devotion to the Passion of Christ.[6] His father refused to give him permission to leave for the Passionists and enlisted several relatives to dissuade Francis from his course. Their attempts were unsuccessful and soon his father was convinced that Francis' intentions were sincere and not capricious.
Passionist

St. Gabriel
Accompanied by his brother Aloysius, a Dominican friar, Francis set out for the novitiate of the Passionists at Morrovalle. During their journey they visited several relatives who had been enlisted by Sante to encourage Francis to return to Spoleto, but this was to no avail. He arrived at the novitiate on September 19, 1856.
Two days later he received the habit of the Passionists and the name "Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows". The following year Gabriel pronounced his vows. During this time, and indeed until his death, Gabriel’s spiritual life was under the care of his director, Father Norbert of Holy Mary.
In June 1858 Gabriel and the other students moved to Pietvetorina to continue their studies. Local disturbances meant they would stay only a year and, in July 1859, the group moved to the monastery of Isola Gran Sasso.[7]
Gabriel proved an excellent student and his excellence in academic life was only outdone by the great progress he was making in his spiritual life. At the same time Gabriel began to display the first symptoms of tuberculosis. The news did not worry Gabriel, who was, in fact, joyful; he had prayed for a slow death so as to be able to prepare himself spiritually. Throughout his illness he remained cheerful and kept up all his usual practises. He was a source of great edification and inspiration to his fellow students, who sought to spend time with him at his deathbed. Gabriel had proved himself an exemplary religious and a perfect follower of the Passionist Rule, being especially devoted to the Virgin Mary.
On his deathbed he ordered his spiritual writings to be burnt for he feared they would tempt him to pride. Only his letters survive, alongside his ‘Resolutions’[8] which map the spiritual progress he made in his few years as a Passionist. [9]
Before he could be ordained a priest, Gabriel died in the retreat at Gran Sasso in the early hours of February 27, 1862, in the presence of the community, holding close an image of Our Lady of Sorrows and smiling peacefully. Those who were with Gabriel when he died reported that at the moment of death, he sat up in bed and his face became radiant as he reached out to an otherwise unseen figure that was entering the room. It was the opinion of Father Norbert that Saint Gabriel had seen the Virgin Mary at the very moment of his death. [10]
Canonization
Gabriel was buried the day of his death. His companion in the novitiate, Bernard Mary of Jesus exclaimed:
Tears come to my eyes and I am filled with shame for having been so far from the virtues that he attained in such a short time.[11]
Immediately thereafter Father Norbert wrote a biography of his life. In 1866, four years after the death of Gabriel, the Passionists were forced to abandon the monastery of Gran Sasso, and the church where Gabriel lay buried went deserted for 30 years. Since his death, the fame of Gabriel’s sanctity had spread through the local area, as well as amongst the Passionists.[12] In 1891 the Congregation decided to formally open proceedings for Gabriel’s canonisation and, a year later, a committee visited his grave to examine his remains. Upon the arrival of the committee at Gran Sasso, the townspeople surrounded the church, determined not to have the body of Gabriel taken from their midst.[13] Two years later the Passionist returned to resume their life at Gran Sasso.
The two miracles presented for the beatification of Gabriel were the inexplicable healings of Maria Mazzarella from pulmonary tuberculosis and periostitus, and the instantaneous cure of Dominic Tiber from an inoperable hernia.[14] Gabriel was beatified by Pope Pius X on May 31, 1908. Present at the ceremony were his brother Michael, his companion Brother Sylvester, and his director, Father Norbert. The outbreak of the First World War delayed Gabriel’s canonisation for a while, but on May 13, 1920, he was raised to the altars by Pope Benedict XV.[15]
Patronage

The Shrine of Saint Gabriel
At the canonization of Saint Gabriel, Pope Benedict XV declared him a patron saint of Catholic youth, of students, and of those studying for the priesthood. In 1959, Pope John XXIII named him the patron of the Abruzzi region, where he spent the last two years of his life.
Millions of pilgrims visit St. Gabriel's shrine in Teramo each year to see the saint's burial place and the monastic house in which he lived out his final years. The shrine of Saint Gabriel at Gran Sasso is particularly popular. Every March, thousands of high school students from the Abruzzo and the Marche regions of Italy visit his tomb 100 days before their expected graduation. Every two years from mid-July to the beginning of October, the Italian Staurós ONLUS foundation hosts at the Sanctuary of Saint Gabriel a celebrated exposition of contemporary religious arts.
The cult of Saint Gabriel is especially popular amongst Italian youth; Italian migrants have spread the cult to areas such as the United States, Central America and South America. The Passionist Congregation also spreads devotion to the saint wherever they have monasteries. Many miracles have been attributed to the saint’s intercession; Saint Gemma Galgani held that it was St Gabriel who had cured her of a dangerous illness and led her to a Passionist vocation.
A campaign, organized by the Saint Gabriel Possenti Society, is under way in the United States to have Saint Gabriel declared patron of hand-gunners. This is in reference to an apocryphal story which has the saint rescuing the town of Isola from marauding bandits, using the hunting skills he had learnt as a boy. Whilst this story is mentioned in one biography of the saint,[16] the author admits that some of the accounts in his book were invented to “enliven” the story.[17] No account of the alleged event is present in any other independently researched biography of the saint,[18][19][20][21] particularly in early sources of his life,[22][23][24] making such an incident seem unlikely. Moreover, at the time of the alleged incident, 1860, Gabriel was in the later stages of tuberculosis, making such strenuous exercise impossible.[25]
References
^ Burke C.P., E., “Happy Was My Youth – Saint Gabriel – Passionist”, page 2. Gill and Son, 1961
^ St. Gabriel, Passionist - Biography
^ Cingolani, C.P., G., “Saint Gabriel Possenti, Passionist: A Young Man in Love”, page 24. Alba House, 1997
^ Mead C.P., J. “St. Gabriel: A Youthful Gospel Portrait”, page 42. L’Eco di S. Gabriele, 1985
^ Cingolani, C.P., G., “Saint Gabriel Possenti, Passionist: A Young Man in Love”, page 50. Alba House, 1997
^ Mead C.P., J. “St. Gabriel: A Youthful Gospel Portrait”, page 29. L’Eco di S. Gabriele, 1985
^ Mead C.P., J. “St. Gabriel: A Youthful Gospel Portrait”, page 37. L’Eco di S. Gabriele, 1985
^ Gabriel’s Resolutions
^ Cingolani, C.P., G., “Saint Gabriel Possenti, Passionist: A Young Man in Love”, page 147. Alba House, 1997
^ Mead C.P., J. “St. Gabriel: A Youthful Gospel Portrait”, page 42. L’Eco di S. Gabriele, 1985
^ Cingolani, C.P. (1997). Saint Gabriel Possenti, Passionist: A Young Man in Love. Alba House. p. 126.
^ Ward C.P., N. “Life of Venerable Gabriel C.P.”, page 246. Burns and Oates, 1904
^ Ward C.P., N. “Life of Venerable Gabriel C.P.”, page 249. Burns and Oates, 1904
^ Mead C.P., J. “St. Gabriel: A Youthful Gospel Portrait”, page 48. L’Eco di S. Gabriele, 1985
^ Burke, C.P. (1961). Happy Was My Youth – Saint Gabriel – Passionist. Gill and Son. p. 257.
^ Poage, G. “Son of the Passion”, page 93. Daughters of St. Paul, 1977
^ Poage, G. “Son of the Passion”, page 3. Daughters of St. Paul, 1977
^ Cingolani, C.P., G., “Saint Gabriel Possenti, Passionist: A Young Man in Love”, Alba House, 1997
^ Burke C.P., E., “Happy Was My Youth – Saint Gabriel – Passionist”, Gill and Son, 1961
^ Mead C.P., J. “St. Gabriel: A Youthful Gospel Portrait”, L’Eco di S. Gabriele, 1985
^ Ward C.P., N. “Life of Venerable Gabriel C.P.”, Burns and Oates, 1904
^ ”Memorie Storiche Sopra la Vita e le Virtù del Giovane Francesco Possenti, tra I Passionisti Confratel Gabriele dell’Addolorata”, Turin, 1868
^ Germano C.P., P. “Vita delle San Gabriele dell’Addolorata, Rome, 1924
^ P. Norberto “Memorie sulla Vita e Virtù di Confratel Gabriele dell’Addolorata (Francesco Possenti), San Gabriele, 1970 – the memoirs of St. Gabriel’s Spiritual Director
^ Mead C.P., J. “St. Gabriel: A Youthful Gospel Portrait”, page 37. L’Eco di S. Gabriele, 1985
Sources
Contains material from St. Gabriel, Passionist with permission
External links
Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Passionist - web site spreading devotion to this Saint
Catholic Encyclopedia article: Blessed Gabriel
The Saint Gabriel Possenti Society
Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows at Patron Saints Index
Shrine of St. Gabriel (in Italian)
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabriel_of_Our_…