Today I’m linking up with Tiffany at Life of a Catholic Librarian for another Church Triumphant post where we talk about the saints, and share a bit of fact, history and reflection. Tiffany is posting about St. Vincent de Paul, so be sure to head over and check it out.
We originally had St. Padre Pio on our calendars, as his memorial was Tuesday, but when I began to gather my thoughts, I looked ahead and saw that all three archangels, St. Michael, St. Raphael and St. Gabriel are being celebrated on September 29th. My son’s name is Gabriel and we just celebrated his birthday, so I couldn’t resist.
He made me understand, speaking with me and saying, “O Daniel, I have now come out to give you insight and understanding. 23 At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved. Therefore consider the word and understand the vision.” (Daniel 9:22-23)
St. Gabriel appeared to Zachary to tell him of the birth of St. John the Baptist in Luke 1. I like to focus on verse 19 :
And the angel answered him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.”
He is described in Daniel 10:5-7
I looked up, and saw a man standing there clad all in linen, and his girdle of fine gold.
Clear as topaz his body was, like the play of lightning shone his face, and like burning cressets his eyes; arms and legs of him had the sheen of bronze, and when he spoke, it was like the murmur of a throng.
He then appears to Our Lady, in the Annunciation in Luke 1:26-38 where he says one of the most treasured words among Catholics “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.”
St. Gabriel means God is my strength. No kidding. He goes on to tell Mary not to fear, she is favored by God, the Holy Spirit will overshadow her and help her.
My sweet boy, Gabriel. Have I ever told you the story of when he was born? I don’t think I have. I delivered him via C-Section. He was scheduled with a specific date and time because the doctor knew I wouldn’t be able to deliver naturally. When the scheduled date arrived, I went into labor. No one was going to tell Gabriel what time he was going to enter the world. We were told he was the quietest baby in the nursery. The nurses loved him.
The delivery went well, and we were both resting afterwards in my room. Gabriel was swaddled in a blanket to keep him warm and set on his side, facing me. It was late at night, I remember because I was texting Mike and he was already in bed. I thought Gabriel was fast asleep. A nurse came in to the room to check my vitals, and see that my IV was still working properly. I look over at Gabriel, and he’s silent, but almost squinting at this nurse like “You touch my mom and you don’t even know the hurt you’re in for.” I was so shocked usually newborns aren’t this calm, awake and attentive all at the same time. I took a picture and sent it to Mike because it’s something he had to see to believe. Look at that face!
Today, Gabriel is still very protective of me. He doesn’t like anyone to crack jokes at my expense, not even playfully by Mike and Alex. He always sides with me, even and especially when he knows I’m wrong and says that I am his bestest friend in the whole wide world. His favorite prayer? The Hail Mary. His favorite place? Mary’s Grotto. He really is my angel, one hug and I am instantly soothed of whatever bothers me. He always reminds us to pray before meals, and to bless ourselves before we leave mass. God is serious business to him.
Last year, Gabriel was chosen to be the Angel Gabriel in his Kindergarten Christmas play, of course!
The Dominican Nuns of St. Jude write:
Because it was he who was sent to Our Lady to announce that she was to be the Mother of God, he will help us in our love and devotion towards her. In fact, it is said that each person who makes the Total Consecration to Mary (Montfort) receives a second angel guardian from the company of St. Gabriel. All those who have great devotion to this angel will have him at their side when death comes.
And now to celebrate:
- I found a delicious Angel Food Blackberry Trifle Cake from Catholic Cuisine that looks heavenly.
- Learn the Angelus prayer and recite it daily. This prayer is prayed at 6:00AM and 12:00PM daily. There is a partial indulgence attached to those who pray this prayer.
- Consider making Total Consecration to Mary, the next date to start the prayers is October 19th to finish for the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary on November 21st
Don’t forget to head over to read all about St. Vincent de Paul!
Happy Feast, until next month when we team up again for another set of saints!