The feast day of St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows is celebrated on Feb. 27. St. Gabriel’s baptismal name was Francis Possenti. He was born into a large family living in Assisi, Italy on March 1, 1838. His father was a lawyer. The early life of Francis was filled with loss. Two siblings died in 1841 followed by the death of his mother soon after. He was only four years old. Years later, one of his brothers was killed in the Italian war with Austria and his brother Lawrence committed suicide.
Although as a teenager Francis was quite worldly, he felt a call to the religious life. He was educated by the Jesuits. After the death of hes sister to cholera he decided to enter the Passionist Order. The religious order is dedicated to the veneration and meditation on the passion of Jesus Christ. He took the name Gabriel of the Our Lady of Sorrows.
While studying to become a priest he was known for his obedience, cheerfulness and humility. He was considered an outstanding student. Four years after becoming a novitiate he was diagnosed with tuberculosis. He died in 1866 embracing an image of Our Lady of Sorrows before he could be ordained a priest. He was only 24 years old.
Many miracles are attributed to him after his death. St. Gamma Galgani credited St. Gabriel with her cure from spinal meningitis which led her to a vocation as a Passionist. St. Gabriel is the patron saint of students, young people and of clergy.
She is loveable, faithful, constant.
She will never let herself be outdone in love,
but will ever remain supreme.
If you are in danger, she will hasten to free you.
If you are troubled, she will console you.
If you are sick, she will bring you relief.
If you are in need, she will help you.
She does not look to see what kind of person you have been.
She simply comes to a heart that wants to love her.
She comes quickly and opens her merciful Heart to you,
embraces you, consoles and serves you.
She will even be on hand to accompany you on the trip to eternity.
St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows
February is the Month of the Passion of the Lord