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Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows

Today, February 27th is the feast day of one of our Passionist saints, Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows. Gabriel was a good dancer, a ‘lady’s man’, and was very ‘popular’ before he entered religious life.

God never stopped pursuing Gabriel. Two times he fell ill and was miraculously cured. With each illness he promised God he would enter religious life, and both times he quickly changed his mind once he was healed and went back to things of this world.

One day, Our Lady looked right at him and challenged him to ‘Keep his promise”.  As you can imagine, Our Lady asking personally was enough to have him follow through and join the Passionists.

Once there, Gabriel gave himself totally to a life of holiness. He lived simply. Saint Gabriel is quoted as saying, “Our perfection does not consist of doing extraordinary things but doing the ordinary well.”

As we start into our season of Lent, Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows is a great example for each of us. Small daily gifts to God, to others around us, doing our daily life better, I think Saint Gabriel would like that.

For me this might look like a small gesture each day for someone, maybe even someone I don’t know.  An ordinary thing that becomes extraordinary for the person whose life you impact. A prayer for the person who cut you off in traffic, a flower for your secretary, a thank you card to the mailman or the checkout lady. Perhaps you could buy the next person’s coffee or bring cookies to your neighbor, mail a card every day to someone who has impacted your life. These small gestures can become ordinary. And as Saint Gabriel says.” Do the ordinary well!”