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Archangel Gabriel

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 Moslems, who believe him to be the angel who served as the mouthpiece of God in dictating the Koran to Mohammed.

Mention of St Gabriel occurs four times in the Scriptures:

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 is the unnamed angel who spoke to St Joseph and proclaimed the birth of Christ to the Shepherds. He is also believed to be the angel who comforted Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. A fresco of this angel figures prominently in a chapel on the Via Appia, indicating that he was honoured very early in the history of the Church. The Hebrew word from which Gabriel is derived means "hero of God".

Saint Gabriel's feast day used to be 24 March, the day before the feast of the Annunciation. However, following the revision of the Calendar following Vatican II, he now shares a feast day with St Michael and St Raphael on 29 September.

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