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St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows

Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows


Francesco Possenti was born to a large wealthy family in Assisi, Italy, in the year of Our Lord 1838, and lost his mother at a young age. He was educated by the Brothers of the Christian Schools and by the Jesuits, and proved himself an excellent student. Though Francesco never drifted away from the faith, he was prone to anger, and inclined to vanity in his dress, demeanor, and love of dancing. On two occasions, Francesco fell seriously ill, and promised God that he would enter religious life if he recovered; yet he twice forgot or put off the decision after regaining his health. Then he was seriously wounded in a hunting accident, and Francesco finally told his father of his promise. His father resisted, but Our Lady intervened with a direct admonition to Francesco, and at the age of eighteen the young man entered the Passionists, or the Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ. Francesco took the name Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, and served joyfully for five years before his long, painful, and holy death of tuberculosis at the young age of twenty-three. His feast is celebrated on February 27th, the anniversary of his death, but in leap years the feasts of the 27th are moved to the 28th.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for February 27th (Read on the 28th in Leap Years)

AT Rome, the birthday of the holy martyrs Alexander, Abundius, Antigonus, and Fortunatus.

At Alexandria, the passion of St. Julian, martyr. Although he was so afflicted with the gout that he could neither walk, not stand, he was taken before the judge with two servants, who carried him in a chair. One of these denied his faith, but the other, named Eunus, persevered with Julian in confessing Christ. Both were set on camels, led through the whole city, scourged, and burned alive in the presence of the people.

In the same city, St. Besas, a soldier, who was denounced to the judge, because he had reproved those who insulted the martyrs just mentioned. As he continued to proclaim his attachment to the faith, he was beheaded.

At Seville, in Spain, the birthday of St. Leander, bishop of that city, by whose preaching and labors, with the assistance of King Recared, the nation of the Visigoths was converted from the Arian impiety to the Catholic faith.

At Constantinople, in the time of the emperor Leo, the holy confessors Basil and Procopius, who fought courageously for the worship of holy images.

At Lyons, St. Baldomer, a man of God, whose tomb is made illustrious by frequent miracles.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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