Feast of St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin

Today, we celebrate the feast day of one of the most beloved saints of the Passionist Congregation, St. Gabriel Possenti of the Sorrowful Virgin.  As a young man, Francis resembled his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, as he was known for his joyful temperament.  In fact, he loved music and was quite a dancer!  But God had planted in his heart a seed which eventually bore fruit in a desire to give himself to God as a Passionist.  Our Blessed Mother was instrumental in his finally saying yes to God.  So, it is not surprising to see that she continued to be his inspiration and teacher throughout  his short life as a Passionist.  Born in 1838, he died at Isola of Gran Sasso, Italy on February 27, 1862.

I sought to be Her companion
  this Sweet and Gentle Mother Mary
    as She stood 'neath the Cross of Her Son.

To compassionate
  Her Heart and His Heart
    was the only treasure
      I sought to claim
        as my own.

From Her Sorrowful Heart
  I learned how to love my Lord
      and give myself totally to Him.

Yes, Our Mother Mary
  I learned how to love my Lord
     and give myself totally to Him.

Yes, Our Mother Mary
  taught me
      to gaze into
         the Mystery of Calvary
And through Her eyes
  to enter
      into this Mystery of God's Love.

Such is my vocation
  as Passionist
I learned this from Mother Mary
  at the Foot of the Cross
    of Jesus Crucified.

Vocation Advice from St. Paul of the Cross

--"With regard to your vocation, wait on the loving breath of the Holy Spirit and live entirely abandoned in the divine arms of Jesus Christ, who is mindful of the state in life you should embrace.  Be sure that if you are faithful to God, he will open a wonderful path so that you may find a place apt to lead to the highest perfection.  But for now take care of yourself as best you can in your home, where you have occasions to exercise great acts of virtue at every hour and every moment . . . Keep silent, never complain, do not justify yourself ever, and never harbor resentment. --from a letter of St. Paul of Cross to Teresa Palozzi, December 7, 1755

The Contemplative Passionist Life