“Would you like to fall in love?”
If there’s one feature that defines St. Gabriel Possenti, it is his extraordinary love for and devotion to Our Lady. He did everything with her, through her, for Jesus, and she in return led him to the heights of sanctity. So great was Gabriel’s affection for the Blessed Mother that he once wrote to his brother, “Michael dear, would you like to fall in love? Well then, love if you wish – but whom will you love? Love Mary. Who is more lovely and more lovable, more gracious and powerful?”
This special devotion had begun when little Francis Possenti was only four years old and his beloved mother died. The boy, disconsolate, threw himself before the statue of Our Lady and begged her to be his mother. The Virgin Mary, as she is known to do, took him at his word and was henceforth the central guiding figure in his spiritual life. In fact, if you recall from day 2 of our novena, it was her word that ultimately convinced Francis to enter the Passionists! Given this circumstance, it’s no wonder that his religious title was “d’Addolorata” -- “Of the Sorrowful Virgin”!
It’s no secret among the saints that the Blessed Virgin is the one to have “on your side” in the journey to holiness. She who called herself the “handmaid of the Lord” delights in leading souls to God, and He in turn raises up those who honor His Mother and makes them into great saints!
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!