In a nutshell: He is one of the three archangels mentioned in the Bible; his name means "strength of God." The first time we were introduced to the Archangel Gabriel was in the time of the Old Testament when he appeared in order to be of help to Daniel (Dan.8: 15-17). Then we don't hear of St. Gabriel again until he appeared to Zachary to inform him that his elderly wife, Elizabeth would bear him a son who would be the precursor of Christ -- St. John the Baptist (Luke 1:11 & Luke 1: 18-19). The third and last time we see this great Archangel mentioned by name is when he carried the most important message of all time to Nazareth to the humble maiden, Mary, at the time of the Incarnation: Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women... Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a Son; and thou shalt call His name Jesus. (Luke 1:31).
The great St. Gabriel is aptly named patron saint of messengers, postal workers, radio broadcasters, telecommunications workers, diplomats -- and stamp collectors. (Stamp collectors? Wondering about that last one...)
What St. Gabriel Looks Like
Ven. Mary of Agreda's description of the Archangel Gabriel:
The appearance of the great prince and legate was that of a most handsome youth of rarest beauty; his face emitted resplendent rays of light, his bearing was grave and majestic, his advance measured, his motions composted, his words weighty and powerful, his whole presence displayed a pleasing, kindly gravity and more of godlike qualities than all the other angels until then seen in in visible form by the heavenly Mistress. He wore a diadem of exquisite splendor and his vestments glowed in various colors full of refulgent beauty. Encased on his breast, he bore a most beautiful cross, disclosing the mystery of the Incarnation, which He had come to announce.
Pere Lamy (1855-1931), a mystic and visionary, recorded his vision of St Gabriel, relating that he is "taller by a head than the other angels. It is by this that I recognize at once a spirit of a higher choir." And he added, "The Archangel Gabriel has his hair well cut and wavy."
Prayer to St. Gabriel for Others
O loving messenger of the Incarnation, descend upon all those for whom I wish peace and happiness. Spread your wings over the cradles of the new-born babes, O thou who didst announce the coming of the Infant Jesus. Give to the young a lily petal from the virginal scepter in your hand. Cause the Ave Maria to re-echo in all hearts that they may find grace and joy through Mary. Finally, recall the sublime words spoken on the day of the Annunciation -- "Nothing is impossible with God," and repeat them in hours of trial -- to all I love -- that their confidence in Our Lord may be reanimated, when all human help fails. Amen
And happy name day to our very own Gabriel Joseph!
Named for two very important figures in the life of the Blessed Mother, we pray that they both help you to be close to your heavenly Mother -- and with her help be fruitful on this earth and happy forever someday in Heaven.