Feast Day: 27 February
Patronage: Students, Youth, Clerics, Seminarians
Born Francesco Possenti, in Italy into a large family, Saint Gabriel lost his mother when he was only four years old. He was educated by the Jesuits and, having been cured twice of serious illnesses, came to believe that God was calling him to the religious life. He wished to join the Jesuits but was turned down, being too young. However he was accepted by the Passionists. Upon entering the novitiate he was given the name Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows.
His spirit of prayer, love for the poor, consideration of the feelings of others, exact observance of the Passionist Rule as well as his bodily penances—always subject to the will of his wise superiors— made a deep impression on everyone.
His superiors had great expectations of Gabriel as he prepared for the priesthood, but after only four years of religious life he got tuberculosis. He bore the painful effects of the disease and the restrictions it required and, before he could become a priest, died peacefully on February 27, 1862, at age 24.
Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows was canonized in 1920.