Saint Brigid Religious Education
100 Mayflower Street
West Hartford, CT 06110

St. Gabriel, the Archangel

Feast day: September 29

Patron of communications workers

The name Gabriel means "man of God," or "God has shown himself mighty." It appears first in the prophesies of Daniel in the Old Testament. The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. His name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the angel who appeared to Zachariah to announce the birth of St. John the Baptizer. Finally, he announced to Mary that she would bear a Son Who would be conceived of the Holy Spirit, Son of the Most High, and Savior of the world. The feast day is September 29th. St. Gabriel is the patron of communications workers.

The feast of Saint Gabriel was included for the first time in the General Roman Calendar in 1921, for celebration on March 24. In 1969 it was transferred to 29 September for celebration together with St. Michael and St. Raphael.

Gabriel is mentioned only twice in the New Testament, but it is not unreasonable to suppose with Christian tradition that it is he who appeared to St. Joseph and to the shepherds, and also that it was he who "strengthened" Our Lord in the garden.

Gabriel is generally termed only an archangel, but the expression used by St. Raphael, "I am the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord" and St. Gabriel's own words, "I am Gabriel, who stand before God", have led some to think that these angels must belong to the highest rank; but this is generally explained as referring to their rank as the highest of God's messengers, and not as placing them among the Seraphim and Cherubim.

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