Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows (1838-1862), the patron saint of young people, students, and young religious. Saint Gabriel’s short life is marked by piety, faith, and obedience to the Lord, and religious vocation at the behest of Our Blessed Mother. While the last six years of his life, spent as a brother in the Passionist Order, were marked by humility, self-denial, and simplicity, Gabriel’s early life was quite the opposite. His complete consecration of his life to the Lord, despite the temptations of the modern world which he so loved, make his sacrifice a vivid example of the Christian love and obedience we should strive for.
The Marian Creed of Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows
As translated by the Passionist website, http://stgabriel.wordpress.com/
I believe, as it was revealed to St. Matilda “that all you heard, you heard prudently, and with great thankfulness, and held yourself to be above no-one.” And with the blessed St. Elizabeth I hold firmly that “you held yourself of little value and unworthy of the grace of God.”
I believe, O Mother of my joy, as you revealed to St. Bridget “that you merited to be the Mother of God because you regarded nothing you possessed and nothing that you were came from yourself alone.”
I believe that your divine motherhood was hidden from St. Joseph out of your humility, until that time when it was necessary for it to be revealed.You served St. Elizabeth and always gave yourself the last place.
I believe, as was told to St. Bridget, “that those amongst you held the same lowly view of you as yourself because you thought and held that nothing you had or were came from you and so in no way gave yourself glory but only the Divine Benefactor and Creator.”
And I confess with St. Bernadine that there is no creature whose humility compares with yours and that in the world there is nothing to compare with even the smallest degree of your humility.
I believe that if all in the earth and sky were placed in the fire of love which you burned towards God that they would be consumed in an instant, and that even all the ardour of the seraphim cannot be compared to it.
I believe that you alone perfectly fulfilled the precept “You shall love the Lord your God”, that you surpassed all men and all angels in your love of God, from the first moment of your life, and even the blessed seraphim learn how to love God from your heart.
I believe with St. Bonaventure, that you were filled with a divine fire that never lost its spark and that, as it was revealed to St. Bridget “you did not think of anything but God, nor did anything please you but God.”
I believe with Suarez, Rupert, St. Bernadine, and St. Ambrose that “whilst your body rested, the spirit kept watch”. And that to you sleep seemed to impede the love of God, whence to you applies “I sleep, but my heart is awake”. And that whilst on earth you continuously loved God, that you did nothing that you knew would not be to His joy, and that you were full of all charity “as much as could be possible for a pure creature”, in such a way that “you struck the divine heart and seized him”.
I believe that your love for neighbour was so great that there neither was, nor ever shall be, one who has loved as much as you and thus there is no creature in the world such as you. And that if one united all the love that all the mothers of the world have ever carried for their children, of all wives for their husbands and of all saints and angels for their devotees, it does not even reach the love you have for but one soul and that the love all mothers have for their sons is a mere shadow of the love you have for us.
I say of you with St. Augustine: “Heaven itself was opened by your faith, when you gave your ‘fiat’ to the angel of the Annunciation.
I believe with Suarez that you have more faith than all men and angels, and that “though the disciples doubted, you did not doubt; therefore with St. Cyril I call you “sceptre of the orthodox faith”.
I believe that you are the “Mother of Holy Hope” and the model of confidence in God.
You were the most mortified of all beings: I believe what St. Epiphanius and the Damascene tell me, that you were mortified particularly in the eyes whose gaze you kept always to the ground and refused to fix them on anything.
I believe what you revealed to blessed St. Elizabeth, that you achieved no virtue without toil and prayer.
I believe what you told St. Bridget, that “whenever possible you chose to bear indignities, and you kept no extra clothes for yourself and ate only a little food.” I believe that you “regarded the riches of this world as nothing more than mud”.
I believe firmly that you chose to be poor.
I believe, as you revealed to St. Bridget, “that you are the Queen of Heaven, the Mother of Mercy, the Guide of the Just and the Way by which sinners return to God.” And that “nobody is so unfortunate that he lives without your mercy” and that “nobody is so rejected by God that, having called upon your name, he will not then return to God who will have mercy, but he who does not approach your mercy will ever be miserable”.
I believe that you are the mother of all men, and in the person of St. John you received all as your children, according to the will of Jesus.
I believe that you are, as you told St. Bridget, “the mother of all sinners who hope to amend their ways”, and that you intercede for the sinful soul, saying ‘Have mercy on me!’”
I believe that you are our life, “and after God, the one hope of sinners”, as St. Augustine said.
I believe of you what you showed St. Gertrude; with your open mantle many find refuge; lions, bears, tigers and that you not only seek out sinners, but with great pity you welcome and caress them.
Through you we receive the inestimable gift of holy perseverance: “following you I will not deviate, praying to you I will not despair, if you remain I shall not fall, if you protect me I shall have no fear, with you as my guide I shall not tire, you shall keep watch over me until I come to you.” (St. Bernard)
You are the hope of Christians, and their help, especially in death, for as you told St. Bridget “you go as a mother to meet them in death because there you give them consolation and relief.” And that “you will not” as you told to St. John of God, “you will not abandon your devotees in the hour of death.”
You are the hope of all, especially sinners, you are “the City of Refuge” and especially those deprived of all hope.”
You are the “protector of the condemned, the hope of the despairing”, and as St. Bridget heard Jesus say of you “even the devils ask your mercy humbly”. “You do not abhor the sinner, no matter how offensive he be, if he raises only a sigh to you.” Of you I say with St. Bernard, “You raise the pitiful for the abyss of despair”.
I believe that you wish to help all those who invoke you, and that you are “the salvation of those who invoke you”, and that “your love to do good to us is greater than our desire to receive it”.
I believe, as you revealed to St. Gertrude, that you soon open wide your mantle to welcome those who have recourse to you, and that the angels hasten to protect your clients from the furies of hell. You protect those who seek you, and even when we do not quickly call upon your name “you hasten to our aid”.
I believe, as you revealed to St. Bridget, that “demons at once leave the soul when they hear the name of Mary”.
I confess with S. Girolamo, Epiphanius, Anthony and others that your name descended from heaven itself and was given to you by order of the divine.
I believe with St. Anthony of Padua that in your name is the same sweetness that St. Bernard found in the name of Jesus: “Your name O Mary is joy to the heart, honey to the lips, music to the ears”.
I believe that after the name of Jesus “there is no other name by which men receive such grace, such hope, such consolation”.
And with St. Bonaventure I confess that “your name cannot be invoked without great spiritual advantage”.
And I believe what you told St. Bridget, that “that there is no-one in this life who is so cold toward the love of God, that if he called upon your name with the will to repent, the devil would be able to remain with him”.
I believe that your intercession is morally necessary for salvation, and that all the graces of God come through your hands, and that all of the mercies which are dispensed to men, all of them come through you, and that “no-one enters into heavens who has not first passed through you to come to that heavenly gate.”.
I believe that your intercession is not only useful, but morally necessary.
I believe that you are the co-operator of our justification, “the restorer of men, the authoress of the salvation of mankind, the restorer of all the human family, the co-helper of redemption, the saviouress of the world”, that all those who are not received into this ship [Mary] will be lost in the sea of this world, and thus I believe that “no-one enters through the door of salvation unless you open it to them”, and that “nobody is saved except through you”.
I believe that “God has decided to concede nothing, except through you”, that “our salvation lies in your hands” and that “those who are without your aid are like those trying to fly without wings”.
I believe also that “it would be fruitless to pray to other saints without your help”; and that “whilst all can obtain with you, you can obtain without all”; and that “if you be silent no-one will lend their aid, none pray, but if you pray, all will come to help and intercede.”
And finally I say of you with St. Thomas that you are “all the hope of life”, and of you I say with St. Augustine “I confess that you are alone and unique as our intercessor in heaven”.
I believe that you are the treasurer of Jesus and that “no-one receives anything from God, except through you”, and that “in you can be found every good”.
I say with St. Bernadine of Siena that “of all the favours concede by God in the old covenant I do not doubt that the greatest of all was given to you alone” (not excluding Jesus).
I believe that “one breath of yours contains more suffrage than all the saints put together” and I confess with St. John Damascene that “in truth you can save anyone”.
I believe that as an advocate you do not refuse to defend even the cause of the most miserable.
I say to you with St. Andrew of Crete “Hail, O Divine Reconciliatrix of men”. And with St. Germanus “there is no end to your patronage”.
You recognise the love between sinners and God, and I believe you are the Most Sweet, created by God to capture men, and especially sinners, to turn them back to Him, as He revealed to St. Catherine of Siena; and thus “as the magnet draws iron, in the same way you attract hard hearts”, as you told St. Bridget.
You are always on guard to sympathise and succour our miseries, thus I call you with St. Epiphanius “Most Attentive”, and this is confirmed in what St. Bridget heard Jesus ask of you “Mother, tell me, what do you desire?” and you replied “I ask compassion for the miserable”.
I believe in the intrinsic mercy of your maternal nature, that the pilgrimage you made on this earth to the poor is exceeded in greatness now that you reign in heaven, in the same way that the sun exceeds the moon in splendour, as St. Bonaventure tells me.
And that since the celestial bodies are illuminated by the sun, so then there is not anyone in the world who, through you, does not share in the divine mercy, as you revealed to St. Bridget.
Also I believe with St. Bonaventure that “You are offended, O Lady, not only by those who injure you, but also by those who do not pray to you”.
And the same saint persuades me that “whomsoever excels in paying you homage will be far from perdition” and I believe with St. Hilary that “Though one be even a great sinner, if they are devoted to you they will not perish for eternity.”
And I say with St. Bonaventure: “he who neglects you will die in his sins. He who does not invoke you in this life will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven; for those from whom you withdraw your glace, there is no hope of salvation”.
I believe with Anselm that “he for whom you once prayed will not be lost forever”. And that devotion to you is a sure sign of salvation, that God does not grant this grace except to those whom he wishes to save, as the Damascene assures me.
And I conclude with St. Anthony “It is impossible for those to be saved from whom you turn away your face, for it is necessary in order to be saved and glorified that you have your gaze fixed on us, for you are our sponsor.”
I believe, as you already revealed to St. Bridget, that you are the mother of all the souls in purgatory, that the pain which they merited by faults they committed in this life, are in some way mitigated by your prayers.
Gladly therefore I say of you with St. Alphonsus, “happy and fortunate are your devotees as St. Bernadine assures us that “you free from the torments of purgatory in a particular way, those who have been devoted to you.” St. Bridget confirms this with what she heard Jesus say to you “You are my mother, you are the Mother of Mercy, the consolation of all souls in purgatory.”
I believe that you, being about to enter into paradise, without a doubt obtained permission to take with you all the souls which you found then in purgatory.
I believe also, as you promised to Pope John XXII, that those who are enrolled in the Brown Scapular will be delivered by you from purgatory, on the Saturday after their death. But how happy are your devoted clients “for whom you shall open the gates of heaven.” You are “the entrance gate to the heavenly Jerusalem, the blessed gate of heaven, the path to paradise”.
I believe that “in [the heavenly] Jerusalem your power includes commanding whomsoever you will and similarly guiding into heaven whomsoever you will.” For you heaven is opened, hell is emptied, the heavenly Jerusalem is restored, the miserable at the point of damnation are restored to life.” (St. Bernard)
I believe that “he who listens to you shall not be confounded and those who labour under you shall not sin”, and I recognise in you the celestial pilot who leads to the eternal port your devotees who you recover in the vessel of your protection, as was shown to St. Mary Magdalene de’ Pazzi; and that devotion to you, as St. Bernard said, “is an infallible sign of eternal salvation”, and with Blessed Alan “that he who practises this devotion (the frequent recitation of the Hail Mary) is a sign of great worthiness of predestination to glory”.
And I conclude with the Abbot Guerric: “to serve the Queen of Heaven is to reign already in heaven and living in obedience to her commands is more than to reign”. I believe with St. Anthony that “of all the saints, none can be found with such compassion for the weak as you, O Most Blessed Virgin Mary”.
You give more than we ask of you: “Seeing our miseries you hasten to help us with your mercy”. “You are always working to secure our salvation.”
“How many” I say with the Abbot of Celles, “are those who are justly condemned in your Son’s justice, who you, being the Mother of Mercy, free from punishment”.
And I believe what the Lord told St. Bridget: “Without your intercession in prayer, one cannot hope for mercy.”
And I hold with St. Fulgensius that “the sky and the earth would have been destroyed long since, had your prayers not sustained them”.
I believe that you are higher than all the saints and angels, to whom you are superior, and that “such is your perfection, that God alone can know it”.
I believe that “after being God, there is being the Mother of God” and thus “you could not be more united to God without becoming God” (Albert the Great)
I believe that “the dignity of the Mother of God is infinite of its kind”; and that your state is the highest “that could be given to a pure creature”.
I confess with St. Bonaventure that “it is the greatest grace conferrable upon a pure creature to be Mother of God, and the greatest that God could give. God could create an enormous world, a vast heaven, but none greater could he make than the Mother of God”
I believe “that for you the world was created”, and that “by your order the world was sustained, that you were with him in creating all things” and that for love of you God did not destroy man after the Fall.
I believe that God has given you the greatest of all graces that in general and in particular He has given to all creature, and I believe what the Lord revealed to St. Bridget that your beauty surpasses that of all mankind and the angels.
I believe that your beauty dispels impure motives and generates purity.
I believe that you were like an infant but of this state you had only the innocence, not the defect of incapacity; you were a virgin first, but without the reproach of sterility, you were a mother, but a virgin.
You were occupied in the active life, but your labour did untangle your union with God; in contemplation you were recollected with God, but without neglect of your duties.
Death touched you but without distress or corruption of the body.
I believe with Albert the Great that you were the first who, without advice and without the example of another, offered to God your virginity, and give to Him all those who have imitated you and to whom you are the standard-bearer, and that for you your most pure spouse Joseph retained his virginity; and that to conserve virginity you would have happily renounced, with divine approval, the dignity of being the Mother of God.
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."