St. Gabriel the Archangel
By: Kristin Tracy-Egan
Saint Gabriel is a saint, but he is not your typical saint. He is also one of the seven archangels, which is one of the nine orders of heavenly angels. He never lived a life on earth, as most saints have; rather, he is a special saint who also happens to be an archangel.
Saint Gabriel is known as the messenger of God. He is mentioned four times in the Bible, and each time he is communicating an important message.
Saint Gabriel appeared to Daniel, a counselor to the King, to explain Daniel's vision of a two-horned ram that was attacked by a one-horned goat. Saint Gabriel explained that the ram was the combined kingdom of the Medes and the Persians. He told Daniel that the goat was the Greek army, led by Alexander the Great. Saint Gabriel explained that Daniel was given a glimpse into the future and saw the destruction of the Persian Empire.
Saint Gabriel later appeared to Daniel with a message that "seventy weeks of years," or seven times seventy years, will pass before the arrival of Christ and the destruction of Jerusalem.
Saint Gabriel appeared to a man named Zechariah to give him happy news. Zechariah and his wife had always wanted a child, but they were not able to have one. Saint Gabriel appeared to Zechariah to announce that he and his wife would have a child named John. This was a true miracle due to his wife being beyond child-bearing years. Archangel Gabriel told Zechariah that his son would become a great man and do great things. The child Saint Gabriel was talking about would become John the Baptist.
Saint Gabriel appeared to a girl named Mary in Nazareth who was engaged to a carpenter named Joseph. This visit is called "the Annunciation." When Saint Gabriel, the Archangel greeted Mary, she was afraid, but he told her not to be afraid for God was with her. Saint Gabriel told her that through immaculate conception she would become the mother of Jesus Christ. Mary agreed and told Saint Gabriel that she would do as God wished.
Saint Gabriel is often portrayed in pictures, books, and music with a trumpet in his hand. This refers to the passage in the Bible that explains Gabriel will blow his trumpet to announce the coming of judgement day.
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