Sunday, February 27, 2011

St. Gabriel Possenti, the Gun Saint.

27 February:  Feast of St. Gabriel Possenti
If I could find a photo of a particular priest with his mouth shut, I'd paint him as St. Gabriel Possenti lovingly contemplating a gun...
That said, Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows is a greater saint than merely a patron of gun handlers.  His compassion and devotion for the Sorrowful Mother was his greatest achievement in life.  How uninspiring for gun enthusiasts. 
Interestingly enough, the Gun Saint Society (no kidding!) is observing the feast of St. Gabriel to protest the USCCB...
"The St. Gabriel Possenti Society, Inc. commemorates the February 27 feast day of St. Gabriel Possenti this weekend with a call for action," Society chairman John M. Snyder noted here today.

"We urge law-abiding Catholic gun owners to protest the anti-gun, anti-self-defense policy of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)," he added.
"Churchgoers may start to protest the USCCB policy through church financial collections," he said. - Source
How devout. 
BTW - Why would Carmelite hermit/monks - who do not eat meat - go out hunting for deer?  At least one bishop knows why. 
How convenient - not simply a monastery but a hunting lodge.
So anyway - is the USCCB an anti-American organization?


  1. Used to own a gun before I became a priest, now I'm thinking of buying a handgun for target shooting & for personal security.

  2. michael r.7:19 AM

    I know, Terry. I believe this is the single worst case of people stealing the identity of a saint and putting him/her to their own use. He was a great Passionist saint, in the tradition of St. Gemma & St. Paul. Look him up and see what the Passionists say about him.

    Nothing about him being the patron saint of shooters. He is a great patron saint of Catholic youth! Because of a legendary story, he has become the patron saint for 'real men & women' (& perhaps some cowboy monks)who wish to pack heat -- even a recent story of a young priest who carries a firearm at all times; presumably even at Mass. Insane! I know I would never go to Mass if I knew for certain that anyone was carrying a weapon. Please keep your guns at home, and not bring them into the santuary -- before long we will need to have metal detectors at Church doors.

  3. "So anyway - is the USCCB an anti-American organization?" At times Terry, at times. Though in this case, merely applying Church teaching through a lens thoroughly greased with 60s style American liberalism.

    I will search through my files, I think I have a picture with my mouth shut somewhere....

  4. I carry not one but two weapons on me at all times. I even sleep with them. Those weapons are my Rosary and my Brown Scapular.

    The Second Amendment is not one of the Ten Commandments. I wonder when it will stop being treated as such?

    (my anti-spam word is ham brain lolol)

  5. Fr. Eric - I could/would paint you as another saint - I want to paint Fr. Z as St. Gabriel. I'll just have to settle for a picture of Kevin Spacey I geuss.

    Let's see... what saint could Fr. Eric be?

  6. Fortunately for my neighbors and passers by my house whose dogs leave their business on my lawn, I don't own a gun. The mail lady benefits from this as well.

  7. Father Joe12:53 PM

    I never heard of him before, Terry, and I'm grateful that you posted this. Wow -- an incredible vocation story! Check this link ( for an interesting artistic rendition.

  8. So, I'm not the only one who thinks Kevin Spacey should play Fr. Z in the WDTPRS movie?

    The Second Amendment is not one of the Ten Commandments - but this does sound like a case of Catholic Bishops using their office as a way of "Baptizing" progressive liberal causes. Of course, the idea of a "Clem, git yer gun" saint is also silly.

  9. Terry--Perhaps St. Jerome.

    Michael R.--It isn't unusual for a saint to become a patron of something due to some very minor incident in his life.

  10. Austringer2:34 PM

    At our former parish, a number of people carried guns. I always felt safer knowing that....

  11. Austringer - I'm sure Fr. D did too. LOL!

    Fr. E. - St Jerome huh? That's a thought. BTW - Vincenzo has photos he shopped of you with your mouth closed.

  12. I was enrolled in a continuing education class at one of the local Utah public universities when the Virginia Tech massacre occured...the next day there was the conversation in class about personal firearms on the conversation progressed I mentioned that I had my concealed carry permit, and if anyone had any objections to me bringing my personal firearm to class ( tucked ever so discretely in my handbag) ...the only objection was from the professor..the students said the same thing Austringer said..they felt safer KNOWING that someone was packing (besides the crazy person).

    As I mentioned in another post on another blog--when the cops are 15 minutes away your personal firearm is 5 seconds away. When you have to wait for the cops that's when 35+ people get killed. If anything like that happened in a class I was in I would have taken him out before he got the third shot off..then Confession to my pistal-packin' padre..he had no remorse for his victims--I have no remorse for taking out a bad guy..I'll pray a rosary for him..

    By the way..the 2nd Amendment is the 11th commandment :) Part of the Original 15 Commandments :) Remember History of the World Part I??


  13. here is the story of the Santo in your post:

    In 1860, a band of soldiers from the army of Garibaldi entered the mountain village of Isola, Italy.

    They began to burn and pillage the town, terrorizing it's inhabitants.

    Possenti, with his seminary rector's permission, walked into the center of town, unarmed, to face the terrorists.

    One of the soldiers was dragging off a young woman he intended to rape when he saw Possenti and made a snickering remark about such a young monk being all alone.

    Possenti quickly grabbed the soldier's revolver from his belt and ordered the marauder to release the woman.

    The startled soldier complied, as Possenti grabbed the revolver of another soldier who came by.

    Hearing the commotion, the rest of the soldiers came running in Possenti's direction, determined to overcome the rebellious monk.

    At that moment a small lizard ran across the road between Possenti and the soldiers.

    When the lizard briefly paused, Possenti took careful aim and struck the lizard with one shot.

    Turning his two handguns on the approaching soldiers, Possenti commanded them to drop their weapons. Having seen his handiwork with a pistol, the soldiers complied.

    Possenti ordered them to put out the fires they had set, and upon finishing, marched the whole lot out of town, ordering them never to return.

    The grateful townspeople escorted Possenti in triumphant procession back to the seminary, thereafter referring to him as "the Savior of Isola".


    He wasn’t carrying at first, but when he saw a woman’s honor was at stake, he took action.

    The moral of the story is; women need protecting.

    (and they should be barefoot and pregnant).


  14. HHmm..

    Barefoot and pregnant..

    I'm a bit past my prime for THAT...

    But keep in mind I'm from the American West....when the old man was out with the mules plowing the Back 40, Ma defended the home front against Indians, bandits, bears, wolves, mountain lions, as well as keeping the house and farm and chillins' time off for being pregnant..

    I'm sure there was more than one occasion when the man returned from the fields, tired and dusty, and the first (and last) thing out of his mouth was "I'm hungry...what's for dinner??" (as he got whapped upside the head with a cast-iron skillet) Ever TRY lifting one of those?? It ain't for wimps.. :)


    PS my verification word is "fiber" I've been getting doozies lately

  15. I thought I was going to slip that one past everybody.

    Saint Gabriel Possenti got his courage from the place all brave men derive theirs: the Dolours of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    Whether he confronted evil with a spoon and fork, or a howitzer, his courage came from his mother.

    If a man thinks he might become a coward at a time of trial, he should do like Saint John of the Cross did; he held on to the skirts of the Holy Mother and went to the cross.

    It is good that men who like firearms have chosen a Saint for their patron.

    Myself, I like girls.

    (when I came home from the range, hot dusty and tired, a cinnamon stick iced tea was waiting for me. Those were the days.)


  16. I always imagine Paul Reubens playing Fr Z in a movie...

  17. michael r.12:40 PM

    This story started as one brief episode in a biography of the saint, and it reads as Pablo tells it. It is almost certainly apocryphal. The author concedes that the biography was embellished to make the narrative more interesting. As the Catholic Encyopedia says, "It is the express wish of Leo XIII and Pius X that he should be regarded as the chief patron of the youth of today, and especially as the patron of young religious, both novices and professed, in all that concerns their interior lives." At the canonization of Saint Gabriel, Pope Benedict XV declared him a patron saint of Catholic youth, of students, and of those studying for the priesthood.

    The Passionists have totally rejected the thought of making their beloved saint a patron of hand-gun-slingers. Wonder what St. Gabriel Possenti would have thought about all of this, considering that a hand gun was used in the attempted assasination of Pope John Paul II. Should the Pope have been similarly armed to defend himself? Would JPII have been served if some of those in the crowd that day have been able to pull out their own hand-guns in his defense? Please think about this.

    Keep your guns on the range, and out of Catholic sites.

  18. I think it would be awesome if the USCCB were anti-american more often.


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