St. Gabriel the Archangel — Hail Full of Grace! The Lord Is With You

The archangel St. Gabriel is honored on Sept. 29 along with two other archangels: St. Michael and St. Raphael.

Pinturicchio, “The Annuciation” (detail), 1501
Pinturicchio, “The Annuciation” (detail), 1501 (photo: Public Domain)

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail favored one! The Lord is with you.” —Luke 1:26-28

Gabriel is an archangel, a higher-ranking angel devoted to praising and serving God. One particular task of archangels has been to deliver divine messages during certain pivotal times in history, and Gabriel appears with heavenly messages in both the Old and New Testaments.     

His name is first mentioned in the Book of Daniel. Daniel was a prophet who lived in Babylon (present-day Iraq) while the people of Judah were being held captive there. Gabriel appeared on two different occasions to Daniel, offering him and his countrymen hope, assurance, and strength during their long and difficult internment.

Gabriel is very prominent in the New Testament within the Gospel of Luke as he announces two very significant events. First, Gabriel appeared to Zechariah, an elderly priest of the Temple of Jerusalem. While Zechariah was performing a religious obligation of burning incense within the sanctuary of the Lord, Gabriel became visible to him and told Zechariah that he would soon become the father of an exceptional son who would do much to change the hearts of many.

The priest expressed difficulty in believing this proclamation. He and his wife had never been able to have children, and by this time were quite elderly. Because of his doubt, Zechariah was struck dumb until several months later, on the day that his infant son, John (the Baptist), was circumcised.

About six months after his appearance to Zechariah, Gabriel visited Mary; the gentle young woman betrothed to Joseph, and announced to her that she had been chosen to be the mother of God’s Son! Mary, like Zechariah, expressed doubt upon Gabriel’s words, but the archangel offered Mary reassurance, patience, and further explanation. When Mary humbly expressed her desire to do God’s will, Gabriel left her presence.

Five Days with St. Gabriel the Archangel

The archangel St. Gabriel is honored on Sept. 29 along with two other archangels: St. Michael and St. Raphael. Likely due to delivering messages of God, St. Gabriel is known as the patron saint of the communication arts. Below are five days of passages on St. Gabriel for you to read, reflect upon, and journal about. See if you can connect St. Gabriel’s narratives to your life today. Ask the communications saint to pray for you the next time you participate in social media or send out an e-mail! 

  • Day 1) Daniel 8:15–22
  • Day 2) Daniel 8:23–27
  • Day 3) Daniel 9:20–27
  • Day 4) Luke 1:5–20
  • Day 5) Luke 1:26–38
Miniature from a 13th-century Passio Sancti Georgii (Verona).

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