St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows Religious
Assisi, March 10, 1838 – Isola del Gran Sasso, February 27, 1862
Francesco Possenti was born in Assisi in 1838. He lost his mother at age four. He went on frequent trips with his father, Governor of the Papal States, and his brothers. They settled in Spoleto, where Francis attended the Christian Brothers and Jesuit schools. At 18 he entered the novitiate of the Passionist a Morrovalle (Macerata), taking the name Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows. He died in 1862, at 24, in Isola del Gran Sasso, having received only minor orders. He is revered there, in the sanctuary that bears his name, which is a place of pilgrimage, especially for youth. Caonized in 1920, and Catholic Action Co-patron of Abruzzo.
Roman Martyrology: At Isola del Gran Sasso in Abruzzo, St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows (Francesco) Possenti, acolyte, who rejected all worldly vanity, the teenager entered the Congregation of the Passion, where his brief life ended.
Baptized with the name of Francis by his parents, Sante Possenti and Agnes Frisciotti, Gabriele dell’Addolorata was born on March 1, 1839. Because of the frequent moves of his father, governor of the Papal States, Francis was able to stay long in Spoleto only from 1841 to 1856, here he attended the first Institute of the Brothers of Christian Schools and the College of Jesuits. for higher studies, which enriched his Christian education, already forwarded promptly to the family.
At eighteen, he said goodbye to his father and brothers and left for Morrovalle to follow the novitiate at the Passionist Fathers: here, he chose the name Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows. However, the vocation which the holy one had already felt during adolescence could not be made: Gabriele died prematurely at only 24 years, on February 27, 1862, in Isola del Gran Sasso, receiving only minor orders.
The sanctuary which received his body, since then has received thousands of pilgrims every year. On May 13, 1920, he was among the saints elevated by Pope Benedict XV and was subsequently elected to Catholic Action; Gabriele dell’Addolorata in 1959 was declared the main patron of Abruzzo.
The Acts of the process of beatification illuminated precisely the characteristics of his holiness, made of unconditional fidelity to the Rule and to the memory of the Passion of the Lord, to complete the gift of himself unreservedly, to the spirit of prayer and penance, of particular devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary Sorrows. In our times the figure of the saintly smile, “characterized by a genuine Christian piety, won the hearts of many young people.
There is currently a movement to name him Patron of Hangunners.
Source: Santi e Beati