St Gabriel Possenti

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Monk. Patron of young people. St Gabriel was born in 1838, a younger son of the governor of Assisi. He studied at the Jesuit college at Spoleto where he was known for his love of clothes, dancing and the theatre. He also had a great following among the ladies.

Unfortunately he suffered from poor health. Twice, when he was taken seriously ill he decided to enter a religious order, but changed his mind when he felt better. One day during the procession of the miraculous icon of Spoleto he was overcome with the desire to be a priest. He entered the Passionists monastery in Morrovalle in 1856 where he soon earned a reputation for having a very cheerful and light-hearted nature, as well as being very prayerful. St Gabriel had a great devotion to Our Lady. Unfortunately illness was never far away. He died in 1862 from tuberculosis before he could be ordained. He was only 24.

Several of Gabriel's letters have been published. His shrine at Assisi is very popular with pilgrims. He was canonised in 1920 and is a patron of youth and the Abruzzi region.

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