Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 24 March

detail from 'The Annunciation', Sandro Botticelli, 1490, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsSaint Gabriel, Archangel

Among the various Orders of the Angels of whom Saint Thomas has so admirably written, some are consecrated solely to the contemplation of the divine perfections, others are sent forth on works of active ministry Among these last, those whom God reserves for the most important charges are called archangels. Such is Saint Gabriel, to whom the secret of the Incarnation was confided and who was to carry its message to earth. For the fall of man having come about through a rebellious angel, it was fitting that a faithful angel should cooperate in the work of reparation. Gabriel it was who revealed the time of the Incarnation to Daniel, the man of desires, and who later on sustained Jesus in Gethsemane, that He might accept the sorrows of His Passion; today he announces to Mary the joys, the greatness and wonderful fruits of this mystery. “Fear not,” he says, after having saluted her with “Hail Mary,” “thou hast found grace with God.” * * * “Fear not,” he says later on to Joseph, “that which is accomplished in thy spoused is the work of the Holy Ghost.” Happy house of Nazareth, which has heard these strengthening words of the angel! He is indeed in this mystery Gabriel, which means “strength of God,” and Nazareth henceforth fully justifies its name, which signifies “a flower,” since within its walls grows up Jesus, the joy and sweetness of the world.

Prayer

Holy archangel, make me a man of desires like Daniel, that I may see the Kingdom of God established in my soul.

Practice

Recite the mysteries of the Rosary in union with the Archangel Gabriel, especially the first joyful and the first sorrowful mysteries.