Wednesday, June 22, 2005

A Patron Saint for Handgunners

I am not a member of the Catholic Church, but I still found this interesting. The Saint Gabriel Possenti Society is "an organization dedicated to promoting St. Gabriel Possenti as the patron saint of handgunners":
The reason why Mr. Snyder has been proposing the recognition of Gabriel Possenti as a patron saint for shooters took place in 1860. After a battle that year in Pesaro, Italy, in which Giuseppe Garibaldi's Piedmontese army defeated Blessed Pope Pius IX's army, several contingents of the former left the main body of the troops, and proceeded to terrorize the countryside. About 20 of them entered Isola del Gran Sasso, where Gabriel Possenti served as a seminarian. When the noise from the ruckus caused by the gang reached the monastery, Possenti asked the monastery rector if he could go into the town to see if he could help the people. The rector said yes.

Possenti found the gang about to rape a young woman, and ordered them to set her free. When they refused to obey, Possenti yanked two pistols out of the soldiers' holsters. (According to Mr. Paolo Tagini, who edits the Italian firearms magazine, Armi Magazine, the weapons likely were 1851 Colt Navy Model six-shot revolvers in .36 caliber or imitations thereof.) At that moment, a lizard ran across the road. Gabriel Possenti took aim, fired and killed it with one shot. Then, he turned his weapons toward the gang which, surprised and shocked, left the village.

'By naming St. Gabriel Possenti officially the Patron of Handgunners, the Vatican could hold up this holy man as an example of the proper use of handguns,' Mr. Snyder points out. 'This would underscore the good purposes to which these inanimate objects can be and often are put. ' Possenti used guns in order to pursue a just end: protecting the victims' life, liberty and property against aggression. 'He used a handgun to rescue an entire village full of peaceful, law-abiding people from the grip of a renegade band of soldier/terrorists,' Mr. Snyder adds. 'He accomplished his mission without causing physical harm, let alone bloodshed, to anyone…(H)e not only defended a village against a band of brigands. He also aimed a bullet at the heart of tyranny, at the heart of terrorism, at the heart of a brute ideology that justified the use of armed force against the innocent… The Catholic Church, as a genuine and consistent defender of the right to life, also could speak out for the right of the individual to self-defense, of the right to keep and bear arms.'
Also available are books and booklets regarding Saint Possenti, self-defense and the Bible, and other things from a pro-RKBA Catholic group.

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