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St. Gabriel the Archangel, March 24

Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

St. Gabriel by Fra Angelico

St. Gabriel by Fra Angelico

In the New Testament the only two references of St. Gabriel are the foretelling to Zachary of the birth of St. John the Baptist, and the Annunciation reported by St. Luke (1:26-28). He was delegated by God to deliver that magnificent message to Our Lady.

We can glean an idea of this Archangel by considering the character of the task he received, for there is a relation between the nature and virtue of the Angel and the mission he receives from God. Through one thing we can conjecture the other.

Gabriel means fortitudo Dei, the power of God. What was the essence of the message he delivered to Our Lady? It affirmed various things:

First, he announced the Incarnation of the Word, therefore, the greatest act of power and decision that God exercised over the world. When the Word took human flesh, it prepared the way for the Redemption of humankind, which signified its rescue from Original Sin. That is, the Word was King of Creation by right, and from the moment of Redemption, He was also its King by conquest. St. Gabriel, therefore, is the one who announced this victory over the Devil and the salvation of the fallen human race. He was the herald who went before the victorious King announcing His arrival, His victory, and His kingdom.

Second, he is the devotee of Mary par excellence. He was the one who first greeted her with the Hail Mary – Ave Maria. More than that, he was the one who revealed to Our Lady who she was. Until that moment, according the good interpretations that I know, Our Lady did not know that she was to be the mother of the Messiah. She was praying for the coming of the Messiah and had a premonition that this would happen in her days. So, she asked to be the servant of the mother of the Messiah. This was her great desire.

The Annunciation Fra Angelico

A special relation exists between
the messenger Gabriel and Our Lady

It was St. Gabriel who revealed to her that she and no one else would be the Mother of God. He made her understand the reason for the rivers of precious graces she had continuously received. It was he who made her comprehend the depth of the sanctity she was called to have and to understand her own mission.

He was a kind of prophet who showed her the life she should live and the path she should tread. He revealed Mary to Mary.

Doing this he rendered her the best service any creature could offer. It was an act of supreme nobility that God commanded St. Gabriel to carry out. In fulfilling it, a special link was established between the two; he is a great devotee of Our Lady, and has a special union with her. This is another aspect of the personality of St. Gabriel.

Third, we can also consider the essential purity of the message he delivered. There is no message so chaste as the one that announced the virginal maternity of Mary. It indicated that God’s love of purity was so great that He desired to preserve her immaculate virginity. He determined that Our Lord Jesus Christ should be conceived without the concurrence of man, making her the Spouse of the Holy Ghost.

We see in St. Gabriel, then, an Angel who is a special protector of purity. If some of us were to see him, we would feel inspired in our will and sensibility to acquire a most eminent purity.

St. Gabriel, by Fra Angelico

Let us ask St. Gabriel for the coming
of the Reign of Mary

So, we can turn to St. Gabriel and pray to him on his feast day, March 24, which the Church had the delicacy to put on the eve of the Feast of the Annunciation.

Considering that St. Gabriel announced to Our Lady – and through her to all humankind – the coming of the Messiah, the victory Christ would win over the Devil, and the establishment of His Reign on earth, today we can ask him for the coming of the Reign of Mary.

The situation of our days is such that in many regards it is worse than the situation of the world prior to the event of the Annunciation. Therefore, we can ask Our Lord and Our Lady through St. Gabriel to come and re-conquer, to put an end to this period of darkness, and through Mary, to establish the Kingdom of Christ. Our Lord, Who closed that period of History in the past, can now open a new one. Jesus Christ is the one who has the key that opens and closes, as the Apocalypse affirms. Let us pray to St. Gabriel that he come to announce this now.

We should also ask him for a super-abundant devotion to Our Lady, a devotion that increases everyday until our last breath.

Finally, we should ask St. Gabriel for a most ardent and intransigent love of purity; that is to say, a militant love of purity, with a correspondent horror for any type of impurity.


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Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
The Saint of the Day features highlights from the lives of saints based on comments made by the late Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira. Following the example of St. John Bosco who used to make similar talks for the boys of his College, each evening it was Prof. Plinio’s custom to make a short commentary on the lives of the next day’s saint in a meeting for youth in order to encourage them in the practice of virtue and love for the Catholic Church. TIA thought that its readers could profit from these valuable commentaries.

The texts of both the biographical data and the comments come from personal notes taken by Atila S. Guimarães from 1964 to 1995. Given the fact that the source is a personal notebook, it is possible that at times the biographic notes transcribed here will not rigorously follow the original text read by Prof. Plinio. The commentaries have also been adapted and translated for TIA’s site.

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