Saint Gabriel Posenti
Patron of Catholic Youth & the Pursuit of Religious Vocations
Feast Day: February 27th
“Gabriel” was born as Francis, in the 19th Century, in the village of Assisi, Italy. He was a precocious youngster who was known to pay careful attention to his clothes and appearance and was very popular with the girls in town. Francis was well-known for being very social and many thought he would marry rather than enter the Priesthood. On more than one occasion, he promised to enter religious life if his prayers were answered, yet when his pleas were answered favorably, he failed to follow through. He eventually agreed to join the Passionists, a congregation that took adherence to the Passion of Christ, and their cross is clearly memorialized on Gabriel Possenti’s medals and other art forms. After Francis became initiated into the Passionists, he became known as “Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows,” likely due to his academic and spiritual fervor for the Blessed Virgin Mary.
On his deathbed, Gabriel instructed that all his writings be destroyed so all that remains are Gabriel’s letters and his 41 Resolutions, the final stanza being “I will give to God the best that I have, the entire affection of my heart.” In Italy, there is a ritual where students visit Gabriel’s tomb 100 days before graduation, to ensure success during their final exams. © 2017