Passionist Seminarian (1838-1862)
+ Francesco Possenti was born in Assisi, Italy. As a young man, he loved pleasant company, attending the theater, chasing women, and hunting.
+ He experienced a profound change of heart and chose to serve God as a religious. Passionist tradition says that he was inspired to join their order by the Blessed Virgin; he professed vows as a Passionist in 1857. He was known in religious life as “Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows.”
+ Gabriel’s short life was marked by a simple observance of the rules and customs of his order and he was especially devoted to the Mother of God and found great consolation in contemplating on her sorrows and the sufferings of Jesus.
+ Gabriel died from tuberculosis on February 27, 1862, in his community in Abruzzi. Honored as an example for young people, he was canonized in 1920.
+ Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows is honored as the patron saint of clerics.
For prayer and reflection
“I will attempt day by day to break my will into pieces. I want to do God’s Holy Will, not my own!”—Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows
On this day we remember Saint Anne Line. A married laywoman who lived during the time of the English Reformation, she was arrested for the “crime” of offering refuge to Catholics priests. Saint Anne died as a martyr in London, England, on February 27, 1601, and was canonized as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales in 1970.
O God, You taught blessed Gabriel diligently
to ponder the sorrows of Your most sweet Mother,
and exalted him to the glory of sanctity
and the working of miracles;
grant us, through his intercession and example,
so to mourn with Your Mother,
that we may be saved through her maternal care.
You Who are God,
living and reigning with God the Father
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal [1962 Edition])
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.