Francis was born in Italy into a large family. His mother died, when he was only four years old. Early in life, he received an education from the Jesuits. During this time Gabriel developed two serious illnesses and recovered. He came to believe that God was calling him to the religious life because of his healing. Francis developed a desire to join the Jesuits. The order turned down Francis because he was not yet 17. Following the death of a sister to cholera, his need to enter Jesuits grew stronger. The Passionists accepted Francis and he was given the name Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows. Gabriel’s personal qualities included a spiritual prayer life, a deep love of the poor,and consideration of the feelings of others. Francis’ popularity and success was because of his faithfulness to the little things of life.
His superiors expected great things from Gabriel. However, after four years of religious life he developed tuberculosis. He patiently bore the painful effects of the disease and its restrictions. He looked for no special attention and died peacefully on February 27, 1862. He was only 24, but had been an example to both young and old.
Comment: We all should remember to take care of the little details of our lives and the larger details will take care of themselves. Francis lived his life in a prayerful and loving way. His prayer life, caring for the poor, and consideraton of the feelings of others was his way of life. It should be the way we live ours, too. Canonized in 1920, Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows became the Patron Saint of Clergy.