05 December 2009
Saint Possenti, Guide My Aim...
Okay, so I'm not Catholic. In fact, religion-wise, I'm a little bit of everything and not much of nothing. But I've always liked the idea of Patron Saints, somebody up there looking after me. I figure I should be covered by quite a few. Saint Joseph (head of households), The Archangel Gabriel (communications industry), The Archangel Michael (swordsmen), and when I travel, there's always Saint Christopher. But the coolest one in my opinion is Saint Gabriel Possenti, the "unrecognized" Patron Saint of Handgunners. Saint Possenti is the only saint known to have used a handgun, singlehandedly defending the village of Isola, Italy from a band of marauders.
The St. Gabriel Possenti Society is a group dedicated to persuading the Vatican to declare St. Possenti as the recognized Patron Saint of handgunners. Here's the story from their site:
St. Gabriel Possenti was a Catholic seminarian whose marksmanship and proficiency with handguns single-handedly saved the village of Isola, Italy from a band of 20 terrorists in 1860.
The Savior of Isola
In 1860, a band of soldiers from the army of Garibaldi entered the mountain village of Isola, Italy. They began to burn and pillage the town, terrorizing its inhabitants.
Possenti, with his seminary rector's permission, walked into the center of town, unarmed, to face the terrorists. One of the soldiers was dragging off a young woman he intended to rape when he saw Possenti and made a snickering remark about such a young monk being all alone.
Possenti quickly grabbed the soldier's revolver from his belt and ordered the marauder to release the woman. The startled soldier complied, as Possenti grabbed the revolver of another soldier who came by. Hearing the commotion, the rest of the soldiers came running in Possenti's direction, determined to overcome the rebellious monk.
At that moment a small lizard ran across the road between Possenti and the soldiers. When the lizard briefly paused, Possenti took careful aim and struck the lizard with one shot. Turning his two handguns on the approaching soldiers, Possenti commanded them to drop their weapons. Having seen his handiwork with a pistol, the soldiers complied. Possenti ordered them to put out the fires they had set, and upon finishing, marched the whole lot out of town, ordering them never to return. The grateful townspeople escorted Possenti in triumphant procession back to the seminary, thereafter referring to him as "the Savior of Isola".
When things get better I might just have to get a couple of Saint Possenti medals and have them inset on a pair of custom grips for one of my handguns.