Oil Dedicated to St Gabriel Passente
The oil is dedicated to St Gabriel Passente was an Italian Passionist clerical student. Born to a professional family. He gave up ambitions of a secular career to enter the Passionist congregation. His life in the monastery not extraordinary. Yet he followed the rule of the congregation perfectly and known for his great devotion to the sorrows of the Virgin Mary.
His Early Life
Gabriel Passente (born Francesco Possenti) born on March 1, 1838, in Assisi, Italy. The eleventh of thirteen children born to his mother Agnes and his father Sante. The family were then resident in the town of Assisi where Sante worked for the local government. Possenti baptised on the day of his birth. In the same font in which Saint Francis of Assisi had been baptised. Shortly after Francis’ birth Sante Possenti transferred to a post at Montalta. And thence to Spoleto where in 1841 appointed legal assessor. In Spoleto the family was struck with a number of bereavements. The deaths of a baby girl Rosa in December 1841. Of seven-year-old Adele in January 1842. And of Francis’ mother Agnes in 1842.
St Gabriel’s Death
Gabriel proved an excellent student and his excellence in academic life only outdone by the great progress he was making in his spiritual life. At the same time Gabriel began to display the first symptoms of tuberculosis. The news did not worry Gabriel, in fact, joyful. He had prayed for a slow death so as to be able to prepare himself spiritually. Throughout his illness he remained cheerful and kept up all his usual practises. A source of great edification and inspiration to his fellow students. Who sought to spend time with him at his deathbed. Gabriel had proved himself an exemplary religious and a perfect follower of the Passionist Rule. Especially devoted to the Virgin Mary.
Before he could ordained a priest Gabriel died in the retreat at Isola del Gran Sasso the early hours of February 27, 1862. In the presence of the community holding close an image of Our Lady of Sorrows and smiling peacefully. Those who with Gabriel when he died reported that at the moment of death. He sat up in bed and his face became radiant as he reached out to an otherwise unseen figure that was entering the room. It was the opinion of Father Norbert that Saint Gabriel had seen the Virgin Mary at the very moment of his death.