ARCHANGEL SAINT GABRIEL, original painting oil on canvas, altar 12″ x 20″ inches.




Feast: March 24

The Jews venerated Gabriel as the angel of judgment, and in both Jewish and Christian tradition he is one of the seven archangels. Gabriel is also known to the Mohammedans, who believe him to be the angel who served as the mouthpiece of God in dictating the Koran to their prophet. Mention of St. Gabriel occurs four times in the Scriptures. He first appears to Daniel in the guise of a man and proceeds to interpret a vision Daniel has had of a ram with two horns, which is overcome by a he-goat. Gabriel explains that the ram is the empire of the Medes and the Persians which will be destroyed by the he-goat, the king of the Greeks (Alexander the Great). This vision came to Daniel in the year 554 B.C., while the Israelites were in captivity in Babylonia. The prophecy was to be fulfilled nearly two hundred years later. The angel Gabriel again appears to Daniel (Daniel ix, 21-27) to fore tell the coming of the Messiah and the destruction of Jerusalem and its sanctuary. The next appearance of Gabriel is recorded in Luke i, 11-20, where he predicts to the priest Zachary as he is burning incense at the altar in the temple that his wife is to bear a son whose name shall be John. The final mention of Gabriel is found a little later in the same chapter of Luke, where he goes to the Blessed Virgin Mary with the tidings that she is to be the Mother of the Messiah. Thus we see that Gabriel comes as the bearer of good tidings and as the comforter and helper of men. In Milton’s <Paradise Lost>, book iv, Gabriel is placed at the eastern gate of Paradise as chief of the angelic guards. Christian tradition holds that Gabriel was the unnamed angel who appeared to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. A fresco of this angel figures prominently in a chapel on the Appian Way, indicating that he was honored very early in the history of the Church. The Hebrew word from which Gabriel is derived means “hero of God.”