4. Necrology

The text below is from the Passionist Necrology

27th February 1862

“This morning at seven thirty am Confrater Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, in the world Francesco Possenti, passed to his eternal reward. He was born in Assisi of 1st March 1838. Vested in the habit of our Congregation on 21st September 1856 and professed on the 22nd of the same month the following year. He died from the disease of tuberculosis.

The life of this delightful youth was a journey of uninterrupted advancement towards perfection. From the moment of his consecration as a religious he applied himself unceasingly to the exercise of virtues without relenting nor meeting any obstacle that he could not overcome nor with doing violence to himself: he engaged himself totally in the fulfilment of his proper duties, he was charitable to all, humble, patient: examining his life one can see examples of all the virtues. This young man had the gift of never suffering distraction in the course of the recitation of the Divine Office and in prayers. He had a great hunger for the Holy Eucharist and thanksgiving was always on his lips, but the characteristic virtue of the dead was his fervent, solid and efficacious devotion towards Most Holy Mary, and especially towards her sorrows. He would speak always of Most Holy Mary, so great it was to hear him speak of her that many commented on it, and this good Mother repaid such affection to the very end of his life; when assailed with all the attacks of hell he would call on the name of Mary and would be led to triumph. At the close of his life he received sacramental absolution and asked for his image of the crucifix, to which he had affixed an image of the Sorrowful Mother; he held this to his lips with great emotion and holding the image in his hands, repeated three times the ejaculation ‘Jesus, Mary and Joseph….’ with his eyes fixed towards heaven and in an instant his agony was ended as he breathed forth unto the Lord. In the days before his death he had received the sacraments of Confession, Communion and Extreme Unction, together with all the comforts of religion. We hope that now he is enjoying the prize of his virtues, but nevertheless prescribe all the suffrages required by our Holy Rule.”