Saturday, July 4, 2020

Saints for Today: Gabriel Francis, Religious (1838-1862)

Must Read

Saints for Today: Mary Euphrasia Pelletier, Religious (1796 – 1868)

Dr. Pelletier baptized his infant daughter at home because of the anti-Catholic persecution then raging.

Saints for Today: St. Irenaeus, Bishop & Martyr (130-220)

Irenaeus is without a doubt one of the greatest theologians of the second century.

Announcement of Death of Douglas McNeill, Former Priest of the Diocese

To the people of the Diocese of Gallup, The Diocese of Gallup has been informed of the passing of Douglas...
Dr. Jean Lee
Jean M. Lee, M.A., D.Min., is a licensed behavioral health and substance abuse counselor, founding a nonprofit, state-licensed behavior health counseling agency and Christian gift/book store. Volunteer work includes: Jail ministry, Legion of Mary membership, door-to-door evangelization, and writing a weekly newspaper column titled “Faith and Inspiration: Encyclopedia of Saints for Today.” A Catholic revert after 32 years away from the Church, she is devout in the Catholic faith, loves the saints, and lives a deeper spiritual/religious and more joyful life since returning to the Church.

Feast Day: February 27

Born Francis Possenti in Assisi, Italy, a younger son of the governor of Assisi and his wife, Francis studied at the Jesuit College at Spoleto. There he was usually vain and known for his love of clothes, dancing, and the theatre, and was called Il Damerino (‘the ladies’ man’) before finding his religious vocation.

Twice during a serious illness he decided to enter a Religious Order, twice he failed to do so. Later, in a procession of the miraculous icon of Spoleto, he experienced an overpowering urge to become a religious and a priest. Despite his considerable physical weakness, Francis achieved the first in 1856 by joining the Passionists, an Italian contemplative and missionary congregation; the second was never fulfilled because he died young.

As a Religious, he was noted for his cheerfulness and was a model novitiate, exceptionally studious, and scrupulous in the execution of his spiritual duties. He was committed to prayer and penance and especially devoted to the Sorrows of Mary, but the shadow of serious illness was never far away. He died at Isola del Gran Sasso of tuberculosis at the age of only twenty-four after a short but exemplary Religious life.

Gabriel was canonized in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV. Immense numbers of pilgrims have visited his shrine. He was nominated patron of youth; later he was declared patron of the Abruzzi, Italian region. Some of his writings, mainly letters have been published.

In the United States, a campaign was launched to have Saint Gabriel Francis declared the patron saint of handguns, apparently based on a story in which Gabriel is said to have chased a band of gun-waving bandits out of the town of Isola, Italy.

“I want to break my own will into pieces, I want to do God’s Holy will, not my own. May the most adorable, most loveable, most perfect will of God always be done.” —St. Gabriel


Bunson, Matthew, Margaret Bunson, and Stephen Bunson. “Encyclopedia of Saints-Revised.” Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor, 2003.
Farmer, David. “Oxford Dictionary of Saints.” New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
Heritage, Andrew, ed. “The Book of Saints: A Day-By-Day Illustrated Encyclopedia.” San Francisco: Weldonowen, 2012.

Featured photo: Wikimedia Commons




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News

Where to give and receive help during the Coronavirus

Are you in need of help, or would you like to give back in some way to your local community? Contact any of these organizations.


Other recent stories:

Meet the Diocese’s New Director of Religious Education

The Director of Religious Education oversees mission work, youth ministry, and catechesis for the whole diocese.

One Loss, One Win: Supreme Court Prioritizes Abortion in One Case but Supports Religious Education in Another

The U.S. Bishops spoke out against one ruling and in favor of another.

Considering a call as a deacon? The Diocese of Gallup’s diaconate program is enrolling for Fall 2020

"Deacons are called to service, deacons are called to assist at the altar, deacons are called to make up what is lacking in other ministries of the Church."

AZ Bishops Welcome Supreme Court Decision on DACA

"We are very much mindful that DACA children were often brought to this country at a very young age and through no responsibility of their own.  They were raised in the United States, attend our schools, make positive contributions to our society, and do not know any other country but our own."


More Articles Like This