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What are the highlights of St. Gabriel's biography?

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Quick Answer

The Catholic Church recognizes four saints by the first name Gabriel: the archangel Gabriel, Gabriel Lalemant, Gabriel Possenti and Gabriel de Duisco. Orthodox Christian churches also venerate several saints named Gabriel, including Gabriel of Bialystok and the archangel.

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Full Answer

Christians believe that the archangel Gabriel announced to Mary that God had chosen her to bear his son, Jesus. Gabriel also appears in the New Testament bringing Zechariah news of his wife Elizabeth's pregnancy with John the Baptist and in the Old Testament Book of Daniel explaining the prophet Daniel's visions to him.

Saint Gabriel Lalemant was a 17th century Jesuit missionary of French origin. He is among the group known as the North American Martyrs or Canadian Martyrs.

Saint Gabriel Possenti, also known as Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, was a 19th century Italian who lived a worldly life before joining the Passionist order. He died of tuberculosis before his planned ordination as a priest.

Saint Gabriel de Duisco was a Japanese convert to the Catholic faith through the influence of Saint Gundisalvus Garcia. Both men were crucified in 1597 and canonized among the Martyrs of Nagasaki.

Saint Gabriel of Bialystok was a six-year-old Orthodox Christian child in 17th century Poland. He was kidnapped when his parents were away from home and tortured to death. Some accounts described his death as ritual murder by Jews. This accusation was apparently part of the medieval trend of "blood libel" against the religious minority, causing doubt about his claimed martyrdom.

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