St. Gabriel of our Lady of Sorrows is a Passionist, that is, a member of the Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ, a Roman Catholic Institution of Priests and Brothers. Founded in the Church by St. Paul Danei of the Cross, it was formally approved by the pope Benedict XIV in 1741, with the purpose to preach the Gospel of the Cross by life and apostolate.
The members of the congregation live together in fraternal communities sharing their lives in prayer, dialogue, and commitment to missionary work. Their life is centered on the Passion of Jesus Christ, which is the essential truth of the Christian doctrine together with the mystery of the Blessed Trinity.
The Passion of Jesus is the greatest love story of all time, for it expresses God’s love and human love, divine love upon humanity and human love returning to God. The event of Calvary is not only an incident of hatred but above all a triumph of love for in a context of violence and rejection, love and forgiveness prevailed.
The mission of the Passionists consists in reminding men and women that this love is available for every person and can be extended and reproduced in everyone’s life. Looking at the Son of God who loved the world to the point of giving his life on the Cross out of love for each one of us, we understand that He chose others instead of Himself. This is the new sense of life offered by God to humanity.
Faith and a love relationship with the Crucified Lord convey to us the strength to bear with dignity and even with love the hardships of life, especially those of reciprocal relationship. We become able to share the sorrows of our brothers and sisters, above all those who are still “crucified” by injustice and discrimination, while at the same time we are motivated to fight against people or social structures that allow exploitation in humanity and creation. Finally, we are aware that the Passion is a forecast of the Resurrection, for every power of love in human occurrence or relationship is a spark of the power of the resurrection working in the world.
To keep alive this awareness in the Church is the special task of the Passionists, whose Rule of Life states: We preach Christ Crucified, of whom we proclaim: He is risen.