Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Feast of St. Gabriel Possenti

Since we don't have Fidei Defensor around the blogspere anymore to cover these things for us, I guess it's up to me to get up the required post in honor of the feast day of St. Gabriel Possenti.

Gabriel was the eleventh of thirteen children, born in Assisi in 1838. During his youth, one of his formative influences was a Irishman who was a training instructor for the papal army. Major O'Reilly taught the young Gabriel how to shoot, and he became quite a marksman.
In 1860, as the wars that would eventually lead to a national Italian state were raging up and down Italy, a band of deserters from Garabaldi's army were ravaging the town of Isola where Gabriel was in seminary with the Passionists. Gabriel went out, unarmed, to confront them, and after wresting a pair of revolvers from two of the soldiers, ordered the band to leave town. St. Possenti demonstrated his marksmanship by shooting a lizard that was scurrying across the road. The soldiers hurriedly left town.


Barb Szyszkiewicz said...

I've never heard of this saint before--but I'm sure my boys would be most impressed! Thanks for the info.

F. S. Poesy said...

Though I'm glad there is a patron saint of handgunners the story shows he might just as well be the patron saint of wrestling (wresting a pair of revolvers from two of the soldiers - how do you do that without getting shot?) or the patron saint of herpetophobics.

Anonymous said...

Darwin, I am glad to see that the torch has been passed on this issue. I first learned of this fine Saint in a homily by a great priest, it was nice to know after growing up exposed to a lot of social justice style Catholcism that basicaly had Gun-Ownership in the sin category! I myself did a post on this saint, "God's Gunslinger," wow like a few years ago now! I wonder what kind of revolver he used, maybe a Colt 1851 Navy like you have pictured? Might be a good excuse to buy a repro one someday...


Anonymous said...

While I have often proclaimed St Gabriel Possenti to be the Patron of shooters and handgunners, the Church has never officially declared him to be "the Patron of shooters and handgunners". Instead, Pope Benedict XV declared him "a patron of Catholic youth. His patronage is also invoked by the Church for students, seminarians, novices and clerics."

It is also unlikely that the story of his shooting abilities ever happened. Given that he died in 1862 of tuberculosis (which doesn't strike overnight), the chance is pretty slim that two years prior to that awful death he singlehandedly saved a town in a gunfight with no witnesses and no written record since NONE of his biographies FROM THAT TIME PERIOD, make no mention of it.