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Novena to St. Gabriel of our Lady of Sorrows - Day 1

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I could never be a saint!

Have you ever had this thought? After reading the lives of extraordinary mystics like Teresa of Avila, or courageous missionaries like Francis Xavier, you might be left feeling weak and sinful by comparison. Even some of the more approachable Saints, like Therese of Lisieux, seemed to be destined for holiness from their earliest days. What hope is there for “normal” people like you and me?

Let me tell you about a young man who just might have the answer.

Francis Possenti was at the center of social life in his town of Spoleto. He was handsome, outgoing, ahead of all the trends, and always ready to have fun. He was such a good dancer at parties that his friends nicknamed him il ballerino! He was Catholic, as were most of the people of Spoleto, but his piety was not the sort to attract attention.

Yet deep within him God had planted the seed of great holiness – the same seed He plants in each of our souls at Baptism. It was Francis’ choice to cultivate this “mustard seed” that allowed God to make this carefree young man into the great Passionist saint we know today as Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows. I hope that after these nine days of reflection on his life, you’ll see why it’s possible for anyone to become a great saint!


O good St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin, you were taught by God to love the Passion of Jesus and to remember the Sorrows of Mary His Mother. By her side, you stood by the Cross of Jesus and shared her compassion. Following her, you grew in love for God and all His people. O St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin, we humbly ask you to intercede before God on our behalf, especially for the intentions we now present before you.

  • For our vocation promotion endeavors

  • For all the women whom God is calling to join our monastic family

  • For the spiritual and temporal needs of our novitiate members and the novice directress

  • For all who pass through this novitiate – this holy training ground – that they will respond generously to God’s graces poured out in their hearts during this time of intense formation

We place our trust in your prayers St. Gabriel and wish to follow your example. Remember us, and especially our youth, with compassion. Support us all our days by your holy prayers. And when this life is done, may we join you in heaven in the company of Jesus and Mary.  Amen!