“I will attempt day by day to break my will into pieces. I want to do God’s Holy Will, not my own!”
Today, February 27, we celebrate the feast of Saint Gabriel Possenti of Our Lady of Sorrows, one of the three patron saints I selected for this blog. I was moved by the life and works of Saint Gabriel last year, as I wrote and learned about his extraordinary faith and love for the Lord and Our Blessed Mother. The simple devotion, obedience, and all-consuming love that marked the short life of Saint Gabriel is an extraordinary example for each of us. I encourage you to read my short blog about his life and works, available here.
“Behold me at Thy feet, O my Lord, begging Thy pity and mercy. What wilt Thou lose by granting me a deep love for Thee, a profound humility, a great purity of heart, of mind and of body, a fraternal charity, a sincere sorrow for having offended Thee, and the grace to offend Thee no more? What wilt Thou lose, O my God, by enabling me to receive worthily Thy Beloved Son in Holy Communion, by assisting me to act through love for Thee in all my thoughts, works, penances and prayers; by bestowing upon me the favor of loving Thy holy mother most tenderly and trustfully; the grace of final perseverance in my vocation, and of dying a good and holy death? I am a beggar covered with wounds and rags, asking for alms. Behold, O Lord, all my wretchedness! See my proud intellect, my cold and stony heart! See my mind filled with worldly thoughts, my will disposed to evil, and my body rebellious to every good work! Help me, O my God, to correct myself. This grace I implore through Thine own infinite goodness and mercy. To obtain it I offer Thee the merits of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, our Master and Redeemer. I have no merits of my own. I am destitute of all good, but His wounds are my hope: vulnera tua, merita mea. Had I shed my blood, for love of Thee, like Thy Son, wouldst Thou not grant me this favor? How much more oughtest Thou to hear me now, since He shed His blood for me. Art not Thou He who has promised in Thy gospel that whatsoever I ask for the good of my soul, Thou wilt grant me: ‘Ask and you shall receive.’ Now, as Thou canst not recall Thy word, I beseech Thee to hear me: I supplicate Thee through Thine infinite goodness, through the heart of Thy Son wounded with love for me through the infinite charity of the Holy Ghost, through the love Thou bearest toward Thy most holy daughter, Mary, and for the honour of the whole heavenly court, into which I ask Thee, one day, in Thy mercy to admit me. Amen.”
“O Mother of Sorrows, by the anguish and love with which thou didst stand at the cross of Jesus, stand by me in my last agony. To thy maternal heart I commend the last three hours of my life. Offer these hours to the Eternal Father in union with the agony of our dearest Lord, in atonement for my sins. Offer to the Eternal Father the most precious blood of Jesus, mingled with your tears on Calvary, that I may obtain the grace of receiving Holy Communion with the most perfect love and contrition before my death, and that I may breathe forth my soul in the adorable presence of Jesus. Dearest Mother, when the moment of my death has at last come, present me as your child to Jesus. Ask Him to forgive me for having offended Him, for I knew not what I did. Beg Him to receive me into His kingdom of glory to be united with Him forever. Amen.”
I have previously posted excerpts from Saint Gabriel’s Marian Creed, which can be read here. For the full text of the translated Marian Creed of Saint Gabriel, see here.
“I will attempt day by day to break my will into pieces. I want to do God’s Holy Will, not my own”
“My life inside here [the Passionist house] is bursting with joy!”
“Love Mary!… She is loveable, faithful, constant. She will never let herself be outdone in love, but will ever remain supreme. If you are in danger, she will hasten to free you. If you are troubled, she will console you. If you are sick, she will bring you relief. If you are in need, she will help you. She does not look to see what kind of person you have been. She simply comes to a heart that wants to love her. She comes quickly and opens her merciful heart to you, embraces you and consoles and serves you. She will even be at hand to accompany you on the trip to eternity.”
“With sin, O Jesus, I gave you the death, but I do not despair of your forgiveness. Those scourges call me, those arms extended invite me, that injured Heart offers me a secure shelter.”
“Who it will be able ever to repeat the pains, the strains and the sufferings that Jesus suffered in such little time. We see Jesus in the garden of the olives, after being separated from His Sorrowful mother, how he is pale and trembling with fear, his face to the ground!”
“Mary, dear Mother of mine, come fast!”
“You [O Mary] answered with the “fiat” to the announcement of the angel, do not want our ruin; show love and pity.”
“My life is a continuous delight; what I experience inside these sacred walls is almost inexpressible; the 24 hours of the day seem to me like 24 short instants; really my life is full of delight.”
“Our perfection does not consist of doing extraordinary things but to do the ordinary well.”
“My sole merit lies in Your wounds.”
“Father, tell me if in my heart there is something that does not please God, because it I want to rip it out.”
“. . . fidelity in little things must be the basic rule in striving for holiness,”
“Do not bestow your love on the world.”
41 Resolutions, guiding his daily life, which can be read here.
O angelic young Gabriel, who, with your ardent love for Jesus Crucified and your compassion for Our Lady of Sorrows, were on earth a mirror of innocence and an example of every virtue; we turn to you full of confidence to implore your aid. Oh! How many evil things and afflictions O how many dangers, assail our young people from every side, seeking to make them lose the faith. You, who lived always a life of faith, who amongst the temptations of the world maintained purity and virginity; turn your eyes to us, cast us a compassionate and pitying glance! Help us to have the grace to persevere in faith; we invoke your name; we cannot doubt the effactiousness of your patronage! In full confidence of our hope in you, we pray, O Sweet Saint, to obtain this particular grace for the greater glory of God and for the good of souls (here mention your request). Finally, obtain for us from Jesus Christ Crucified, through Mary, Our Lady of Sorrows, resignation and peace so that we might always live the Christian life, throughout all the times of this present life, so that we might one day be happy with you in the presence of our Heavenly Father. Amen
Year 2: Day 58 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Simple faith, obedience, and love.
Requested Intentions: Freedom from medical difficulties, employment, successful relationship (D); End to suffering for sick brother; reconciliation of estranged family (E); End to husband’s addiction; Improved relationship; strength (M); Successful God-centered marriage; Sacramental life (M); Healing, successful relationship (S); For successful marriage (A); For a husband’s freedom from addiction (C); Freedom from pain and illness for a friend (M); Financial freedom (J); Successful passing of occupational examination (S); Healing and conversion, sale of house (L); Occupational success for employee and colleagues (J); Employment for a son (C); Successful attainment of an important appointed position (J); Recovery from cancer for a friend (Z); For a family’s freedom from sin (M); For a daughter with Diabetes (A); Healing of a father following stroke (S).
Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?
Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."
To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."
As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."