St. Gabriel the Archangel

Along with Michael and Raphael, Gabriel is one of the three archangels mentioned by name in Holy Scripture. He is the only one featured in the Gospel stories, as it is Gabriel who shares the news with Mary that she will give birth to the Christ. 

In the Eastern church, Gabriel gets two feast days dedicated solely to him (plus a third shared with the other angels). One of those is the day after the feast of the Annunciation.
 

Lifetime: Eternity
Region: Heaven & Earth
Patronages: Communications; Messengers; Clerics; Diplomats
Iconograpy: Angel wings; Mirror reflecting X; Lilies; Trumpet
Feast Day: September 29 (with other Archangels) (Western); November 8 (with other Archangels) (Eastern); March 24 (Eastern); July 13 (Eastern)

Since everything we know about Gabriel comes from the Gospel of Luke, I thought the best way to introduce him is to simply share those passages.

Here Gabriel tells Zechariah that his wife is pregnant with John the Baptist:

Now at the time of the incense offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Zechariah said to the angel, “How will I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years.” The angel replied, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. But now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur.”

- Luke 1:10-20 (NRSVCE)


And in the story of the Annunciation, he shares with Mary the Good News:

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”  Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

- Luke 1:26-38 (NRSVCE) 

Prayer to St. Gabriel

O blessed Archangel Gabriel, we beseech thee, do thou intercede for us at the throne of divine mercy in our present necessities, that as thou didst announce to Mary the mystery of the Incarnation, so through thy prayers and patronage in heaven we may obtain the benefits of the same, and sing the praise of God forever in the land of the living. Amen. 

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