Patron of the Youth
Feast: February 27
On the first of March in 1838, in the little town of Assisi, Italy, a boy named Francis was born who, like the famous founder of the Franciscan order, would become a Saint. He was the eleventh of thirteen children and his mother died when he was four years old.
Francis (who later look the religious name Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows) had a “sweet, good-humored, persevering, settled and generous temperament, and also possessed a sensible heart full of affection…He was well-spoken, proper, intelligent, loving and full of a surprising grace…” (Fuentes, p. 24s)
He was very tall in stature (around 1.7 meters), and had “ a good voice, was agile and well-formed” (ibid).
With his family he was moved to Spoleto when, as the other Francis, he was a leader of the youth. In this place there was a school of the brothers of the Christian Schools, and attended a classical secondary school run by the Jesuits. He greatly enjoyed singing and achieved rewards in Latin poetry and in theatrical evenings. He was a dynamic youth, with a great passion for his Christian faith. In his house he had placed a statue of the Pieta for his personal veneration.
When he went to the Meliso theatre with his father, many times he would sneak away secretly in order to pray under the portico of the Cathedral, which was very near to there; he would return late before the conclusion of the function in order to leave with the other spectators. Some times he used a hair shirt and it is known that one time he turned down the dishonest propositions of a libertine who was threatening him with a pen-knife.
Intervention of the Blessed Virgin Mary
He was canonized in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV.
Saint Gemma Golgani, upon reading the life of Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, felt a strong spiritual tie with him and he appeared to her on many occasions in order to guide her and console her.Sanctuary of St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows: Directions from Rome: Take expressway A/24 in the direction of Teramo and then exit “S. Gabriele”. At 3 km is the sanctuary.