There seems to be patron saints of nearly everything. Last year I discovered a Saint that surprised even me.
Today, being All Saint’s Day, I thought I would take a moment to bring to light the story of that particular Saint; Saint Gabriel Possenti, the Patron Saint of Handgunners.
In 1860, Saint Possenti was attending seminary in the mountain village of Isola. He was also dying of tuberculosis which would eventually take his life less than two years later.
When a group of 20 armed marauding bandits, from Garibaldi’s army, came to the village to pillage and rape, the villagers hid the best they could and hoped that the terror would pass them by.
Think of them as your standard gun control advocates who prefer to hide and hope that someone else will protect them.
And so they hid, everyone except for Gabriel Possenti. With the permission of the Seminary Rector, Possenti, suffering from tuberculosis, gathered his strength and walked into the center of the town alone and unarmed.
One of the rogue soldiers had grabbed a young woman and was dragging her off to rape her and scoffed at the sickly monk being all alone and helpless. Possenti moved quickly and stripped the soldier of his pistol and held him at gunpoint demanding the woman’s release. As the bandit was doing so, one of his cohorts stumbled upon the scene and Possenti removed his pistol as well before the bandit realized what was going on.
With the woman freed and he armed with two pistols the rest of the 20 men arrived to deal with the commotion. At this point a small lizard was crossing the town square some distance away. Possenti, took aim and fired, shooting the lizard with one shot (with the weapons of the time, it was an amazing feat).
Showing himself to be an expert marksmen the bandits quickly lost their nerve as their fear of the sickly monk grew. While probably not able to take them all out, the bandits realized that Possenti could kill enough and in the light of this truth their resolve crumbled. Possenti then ordered the men to lay down there weapons and to douse the fires that they had set around the town. After that was done he marched the group out of town, ordering them never to return.
From that point on Gabriel Possenti was hailed as the Savior of Isola and was canonized in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV.
There are some who doubt this story, stating that Saint Possenti would have been too ill at the time to do such heroic acts and that such actions go against the church teachings.
To the former, that he was too ill to be able to perform such deeds, I say that is what makes it a miracle. And to the second point of going against the churches teachings, this was disproved by Pope John Paul II when he cited Catholic Catechism 2265:
“legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another’s life, the common good of the family or of the state.”
But lets look at it through the 2nd Amendment lens.
A sickly dying man was able to stop the raping, pillaging and murdering ways of 20 young healthy robust bandits. Did he do that by breaking out some martial arts, or a whistle or by calling for the constable?
No. He did it by the using the tools available to him, with a pair of pistols Possenti negated the numbers and the strength of the ne’er-do-wells and saved the town of Isola.
It might have been a miracle that gave Possenti the strength to walk to the town square but it was not a miracle that armed with the pistols that he was able to steal the courage of evil men who flee in the presence of those willing AND ABLE to stand against them. His faith made Possenti willing, the pistols made him able.
With that I wish you all happy All Saint’s Day.