Patron Saint of Handguns? Meet St Gabriel Possenti

Looking for a patron saint of handguns?

My oldest son is named Gabriel – after the Archangel Saint Gabriel. However, he has developed a great devotion to Saint Gabriel Possenti over the years for two reasons: first, he is a saint of holy purity, but more important to his 11 year old mind – Gabriel Possenti is the patron saint of handguns.

Gabriel possenti

I can hear the wave of opposition building. Whenever I mention guns on this blog (or gun safes for Christmas), I get some backlash from well-meaning Catholics (usually European) that believe that guns are horrible, wicked, and evil. They find my appreciate for guns immature and misguided for a Catholic.

Oh well…

I’ll try to “disarm” you at the beginning. Yes, we use guns as tools to hunt for food. If you’re a city slicker from LA or Paris, this may sound foreign to you, but here in Texas we still kill animals, cook them, pray over them, and then eat them.

As my Franciscan friend Father Pio Hoffman says, “Yes, of course we Franciscans love animals. They are delicious.”

And as my father (who has a PhD in Meat Science from Texas A&M) says, “If God didn’t want us to eat animals, why did he make them out of meat?”

Joy’s dad brought us about 100 pounds of elk meat that he hunted. It’s in our freezer.

I’m hunting for Nilgai meat (South Texas) in March with my father, brother, and brother in law. My son also ate the deer that he patiently hunted last year.

Gentlemen, you haven’t lived until you have hunted, shot, cleaned, butchered, roasted, and eaten your own meat. Can I get a witness?

Also, I’m a big believer that firearms, when carefully respected are a great source of sport and recreation. Did you see them in the Olympics, by the way. I don’t know who thought of this sport, skiing and shooting, but it’s cool to watch:

biathlon

My wife and I have also been trained in self-defense with a handgun, so, seriously, don’t mess with Joy!

By the way, I follow my friend Jordan Low’s rule, when you pick up a gun, always say a “Hail Mary” for prudence with the weapon and to avoid accidents.

All this is to say that guns can have a proper place in the life a Christian man or woman. With proper supervision and gun safe’s to prevent accidents, young adults can also enjoy guns in the context of hunting, sport, and self-defense.

Patron Saint of Handguns, Gabriel Possenti

Saint Gabriel Possenti’s feast day is February 27. He is the patron of hanguns because his marksmanship enabled him to rescue a woman about to be raped by a marauding gang of thugs at Isola del Gran Sasso, Italy in 1860.

Here’s the story:

After freeing a young woman from would-be rapists, St. Gabriel Possenti confronted the onrushing brigands waving revolvers. At that moment, Possenti fired at a lizard that happened to be running across the road and dispatched it with one shot. Thus having demonstrated his excellent handgun marksmanship, he was able to take command of the situation and ran the now-frightened brigands out of town.

St. Gabriel Possenti performed this feat of courage without causing physical harm to a single human being.

St. Gabriel Possenti died in 1862. He was canonized by Pope Benedict XV in 1920.

Shoot ‘em up, pow, pow. Poor lizard.

Saint Gabriel Possenti, pray for us.

Question: If you’re a Christian who enjoys hunting and marksmanship, please leave a comment below. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Download My Book for Free
Thomas Aquinas in 50 Pages
Over 15,000 copies downloaded! This is a quick and easy way to learn the basic philosophy and theology of Saint Thomas Aquinas. The Popes of the last 300 years have endorsed St Thomas Aquinas. Learn more through this accessible resources. Download it for free.

Comments Policy: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. If your comment contains a hyperlink to another site, your comment automatically goes into "Comments Purgatory" where it waits for release by way of moderation.

  • Dominicus

    Witness given. God also didn’t give us eight incisors at the front of our mouth for cutting thread and tearing open plastic wrap.
    Lastly, I know my rifle quite well. It has yet to viciously attack anyone, so I don’t think it has the heart for killing innocent life. Then again, I do keep it responsibly locked in a hard shell case and hidden away, so maybe it is too depressed to be dangerous to anyone.

    • http://taylormarshall.com/ Dr. Taylor Marshall

      Maybe incisors are for opening tofu packaging…

  • Phyllis Cory

    Fourteen years in Montana taught us about hunting, butchering, and preparing wild and domestic meat. We bought a gun safe last Christmas for our rifles and handguns.

  • Patrick McFeely

    Amen Dr Marshall… Here come the deer, break out the rifle and the BBQ. On a serious note, I am also a Texas Catholic man, husband and father and I am a firm believer in food on the table from the bounty that God has provided. In addition I believe protection comes from within first so therefore we have several options from which to chose from of God forbid someone tries to inflict harm upon my family. I just want to point out that although safes are a great safety tool a greater emphasis should be placed in teaching all members of the household proper gun handling safety techniques to go along with the safe, because not every home or vehicle will have a secure location every time. Better always safe than sorry.

    • http://taylormarshall.com/ Dr. Taylor Marshall

      I think some believe guns are evil because they only watch violent movies and never see happy people like grandpas hunting or young people having a fraternal target match.

      It’s all about the context.

  • Payson Fields

    Hi Taylor! I’ve hunted all my life. My dad bought my first gun when I was 10 years old. I grew up following him and the bird dogs as he hunted quail In Northwest Georgia. Hunting was a part of life and so were the guns that went with it. It’s somewhat different in today’s polarized society. Guns are looked on as evil by a lot of people. The truth is they are only tools. In the hands of a righteous man tools can be used for great good. Vice versa, tools in the hands of evil men can do great harm. That is why in the USA, all law abiding citizens should be familiar with the use of guns and own guns if they feel called to.

    • http://taylormarshall.com/ Dr. Taylor Marshall

      Agreed guns are tools. When I camp with the Troops of Saint George, I sometimes see a boy with his knife out (not allowed). I always say, “What are you using it for?” He doesn’t usually have a good answer, and then I reiterate, “Knives are tools. Only have them out if you are using them for a purpose.”

      The same applies to guns. They aren’t toys. They are tools that must be respected for their power.

  • Micah Murphy

    I’ve only fired a shotgun (twice) and a BB gun, but I have no problem with guns. Just wanted to say that this saint’s story is BRILLIANT.

  • Terry Fenwick

    I love you, Taylor!!! I probably could not eat anything I shot and cleaned and cooked – I pretend cows and chickens are dropped from heaven, ready to eat. But then I am 81, not from Texas and do not remember food as a child – except for seeing a chicken with the neck wrung? Is is wrung? on Great Grandfather’s farm. This is really well done and I love Texans.

  • Michael Ryan

    The Bible says God made all these animals for man to use as he pleases. If we need to eat to survive, then hunting is the natural way. (we should never abuse any gift from God) I also believe it is every Catholics right to defend his/her family and neighbors against intruders. If we abdicate “personal responsibility to act”, then we no longer are acting in His name.

  • Fr. Anthony stammitti

    Great article! Being Italian myself I was thrilled to find a patron saint of firearms from my heritage. As a proud owner of many guns and an avid trapshooter I’m happy to find a saint who enjoyed hunting and shooting.

    • http://taylormarshall.com/ Dr. Taylor Marshall

      Trapshooting is so much fun!

  • Texas Girl in Colorado

    Thank you Taylor for letting us know about the Patron Saint of Handguns. Now we can really cling to our guns and religion! Ha! I grew up in Texas knowing & respecting guns & was taught that they are for protection on the ranch and for the home as well as for putting meat on the table. My husband taught our boys proper use of guns and started a tradition of hunting dove, deer, quail, pheasant & now elk since we now live in Colorado. Wild game is the only red meat we consume as it is much healthier than those little cellophane packages of “farm raised and processed” meat. And for the animal activists, do they really think it’s more humane to pen in an animal all it’s life, then slaughter it for consumption? Also, even though I personally do not hunt (leaving that to the men in the family now)
    , I took the concealed handgun course for responsible gun ownership!

  • Michael Alan Lockery

    As a former Marine I enjoyed your post on handguns. I never thought of a Hail Mary for prudence, but I will be sure to do this from now on. Thank you! Mike

  • Jerry

    This is just awesome. I had no I idea there was a patron saint of handguns…

  • http://taylormarshall.com/ Dr. Taylor Marshall

    I’m already getting upset emails from well-meaning people over this “gun rights bandwagon” post. Saint Gabriel Possenti, pray for us.

    • Michael Alan Lockery

      They can go read Salon if they wish. I for one are enjoying your books and posts. Thank you.

  • Dominic Jenkinson

    I have questioned your appraisal of guns in the past but this is a great story!

  • Patrick Sullivan

    A good husband should be armed in order to defend his family that God gave him to protect. Thank you! St. Gabriel Possenti, pray for us!

  • Ann

    When I was small we lived in North Dakota and my father and his friends hunted birds that were in season (ducks, geese, pheasant, grouse, etc.). I remember watching him cleaning, butchering, defeathering, and then my mother cooking. It was the first time I really understood (I was 6 or 7) that meat came from real animals and not from the grocery store. It did not steer me away from hunted food but gave me, to this day, a huge respect for the food on the table and why we really say Grace. It bothers me greatly when game is killed for trophies and the meat is not used. It’s disrespectful to God and the animal.

  • Chip Field

    I am a (Texan) Catholic convert of 30 years (my wife was also raised Protestant), who was also a pretty darn good shot with a rifle in my younger years, even if I do say so myself. I am also a devoted follower of Dr. Marshall. I have been waiting patiently to find some issue upon which Dr. Marshal and I could at least partially disagree so that we might joust a bit. I think his post today on the joys of hunting may have found my mark. I understand his point that God created us humans as omnivores, so killing animals for food is “a good”. God gives us dominion over all the earth, and over every creature, etc. (Genesis 1:26-31). But here’s the piece that doesn’t fit the puzzle……and it has to do with the hunter’s reason for killing. What really motivates him? If the hunter is motivated by hunger and has no other source of protein, he operates within God’s plan. However, if he is motivated by the “joy of the hunt”, then it is true that some portion of his joy is derived from, or is in an important way, the cause of, needless pain suffered by one of God’s creatures. We should think about whether this motivation (joy derived in any way from another’s pain, or, willing an action of which another’s pain is a certain and known by-product) is “a good” at all, or whether, in fact, it is actually a stealthy manifestation of original sin.

    • http://taylormarshall.com/ Dr. Taylor Marshall

      Dear Chip,

      Thank you for the kind words and the “joust.” You’re right. There is the sport of it. We also don’t want animals to suffer. That’s why we practice.

      However the animals do die and it is painful. But the same is true about chicken, ground beef, and tuna. I sometimes think my fishing is less humane than hunting because the fish die so much mores lowly and painfully.

      The joy of the hunt is not in the kill, but in the pursuit and training. I’ve also participated in dart hunts in Africa. Lots of fun.

      • Chip Field

        Dear Dr. Marshall,

        I have not heard back from you regarding my comments to you dated 3-1-14 (scroll down), by which I observed that Grocery Hunting For Food and Wilderness Hunting for Fun do present dissimilar moral questions. Having no word from you, I will assume that we are still confusing grocery aisles with forest trails, so I will shift gears to a narrower focus, specifically addressing the two arguments you make in your 2-28-14 response to my same-day comments which I entered on your Blog (scroll up to read). We can go from there.

        Dr. Marshall, 2-28-14: “The joy of the hunt is not in the kill, but in the pursuit and training.”

        Chip, 3-3-14: “If there were no joy in the killing, but certain knowledge that the killing would cause suffering in another, then the good man would not kill. If the only joy is in the ‘pursuit and training’, then hunters’ ammo would be paint balls, not bullets.”

        Dr. Marshall, 2-28-14: “However, the (hunted) animals do die and it is painful. But the same is true about chicken, ground beef, and tuna.”

        Chip, 3-3-14: “Willing the unnecessary suffering of others is moral error, regardless of venue. That slaughterhouse suffering exists in pursuit of food does not purify the hunter’s personal decision to impose suffering on others in pursuit of pleasure.”

        Cheers.

        Chip Field
        3-3-14

        “We must love them both, those whose opinions we share and those
        whose opinions we reject. For both have labored in the search for
        truth, and both have helped us in the finding of it.” -Aquinas

    • Payson Fields

      I disagree with part of your reasoning on causing pain to another creature. As a chiropractor, I can tell you that pain tells us we are alive. Dead things don’t feel pain. Pain is a part of life – a part of God’s creation. We all experience pain. We are called to take up our cross daily and pain is involved. From your line of reasoning, we shouldn’t watch another sporting event (never know when some athlete will blow out a knee), don’t drive -we could be in a wreck – someone could die, and on and on. I do agree with you that if people are going to kill animals, then the animal shouldn’t be wasted. We should use as much of it as possible. Clean kills with as little pain as possible should be the goal. And, yes, I could live off of grocery store meat the rest of my life, but I would rather take personal responsibility for killing my own meat as much as I can. God gives us all different gifts and hunting and killing are part of those gifts – think on Gideon’s army – not every one had those particular abilities, but everyone belonged to God.

  • Norman Guilbert Jr.

    Dr. Taylor, YOU ARE THE MAN! I am a priest, a pistol target shooter, a skeet shooter, and a bird and big game hunter. I have a lot of guns. I shot one of your open-season wild hogs last May on a ranch just outside of San Antonio. I am from Connecticut and concelebrated a wedding down there. The first thing the uncle of the bride did, after I got off the plane, was to ask me if I wanted to hunt pigs on his ranch while the women did all that stuff women do the day before a wedding. Next day, I had a 6mm Remington rifle in my hands and was in a blind along the San Antonio River. The unsuspecting sow from Texas found out to her chagrin that some Connecticut priests know how to use a good rifle. And, she was delicious… St. Gabriel, you are my new favorite saint! Our deacon here can’t understand how a priest ‘can kill.’ That’s when I have to remind him that his job as a deli manager involves selling meat, which did not magically appear like manna…

    • sequax

      Bless you Norman! The only hunter my (extremely protestant) Grandmother would let on her property was a (Catholic) bowhunting priest. He had served in special forces before he came back to join the priesthood. So he would live for days camping in the rough on her property stalking game across 80 acres of woods and swamp off the beautiful Pere Marquette river. He always took a rifle along just *in case* an arrow went awry. This way, he could take down the animal quickly so it would not suffer too long.

      I learned how to gut fish and rabbit for the table, and learned how to shoot when I was 10. I’ve since helped friends clean deer in exchange for meat and antlers– but I wont’ take the antlers on a prize rack!

  • Fr. Richard Murphy

    I am a R.C. priest who likes to hunt with brother priests. One who purchases meat in the store is like one who hires a hit-man to do the dirty work.

  • Phyllis

    Hi Taylor. My husband & I stand with you as pro gun owners. We don’t hunt, but as former police officers we know too well that if the good guys give up their weapons, the bad guys won’t get the same memo.

  • JaneC

    Weighing in from the other side of the country–Alaska. Guns are also for protecting us from wild animals. Going fishing or hiking without a gun, in a state with three kinds of bears and also moose that would be happy to kill you, is a fairly stupid thing to do. Yes, there’s bear spray, but bear spray doesn’t work when it’s below freezing (which is half the year or more).

    Unfortunately, the story about St. Gabriel and the gun is probably apocryphal, but it’s still awesome.

  • hebbron

    There is a recipe in an old Fredericksburg (Tex.) cookbook you might enjoy…”deer beer stew”…like regular stew using backstrap chunks and adding a can of your favorite beer. Try grinding left over cooked venison, adding minced garlic, celery and onion, and your favorite mayo …great sandwich filling. Use as the filling for tamales…mix half pork and half venison, instead of simply pork. Finally, take venison to a wild meat processing place to have jerky and hard sausage made.

  • Gerard

    Growing up in rural Va in the 1950s, wild game meat was a natural part of our diet, along with farm animal meat. I recently wrote a book about those days and entitled it, “Fried Squirrel”

    Gerard Havasy

  • Abraham

    Yes! Just yes to everything you said. I grew up in Southern California so there isn’t much hunting but I cannot wait to start.

  • dishalo

    I do not hunt,but I would if I had to, but I do enjoy tasty beef.

    I have been shooting since I was 16. I have taken classes on safety of a firearm and what to do in different case scenarios, when and how to use that firearm during a robbery or home invasion(hope I never have that occasion to use it).

    My husband and I took this class after our eldest daughter was almost killed by her boyfriend. The police officer that walked us to our car, after the court hearing advised us, if we didn’t have a gun to make sure we get one.We did it the next week. We took a class and learned how to use the gun if we needed it.

    I believe in the Second Amendment and I also know that our Church Fathers also agreed on Capital punishment and what our Church teaches on defending yourself and family. To them it was an Act of Mercy for a hardened criminal be put to death for the safety of Society, but not just for that reason but that the criminal would have a chance to repent and a chance at Heaven knowing when they were going to die.

    *Up until Pope Paul VI they actually had a guillotine in the Vatican. maybe too much info).

    “Though defensive violence will always be ‘a
    sad necessity’ in the eyes of men of principle,
    it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers
    should dominate just men.”
    ~St. Augustine

  • Doug

    Thank you for bringing honest information on this issue. On another note, Japan didn’t envision invading the US because the population was armed. Look at what is happening in Africa, the Middle East, Central America and even some countries in Europe. Our founding fathers fully believed in Christian principles, but also understood the necessity of being able to defend against evil and tyranny. Plus most edible critters can outrun us unless we use the necessary technology to put them on the table. I also like the “Hail Mary” before handling a firearm.

  • Paulette Grace

    Love this! — I’m going to share it with my husband who has 4 guns in a gun safe & he only gets to use them at the Gun Range. — 2 handguns, 1 riffle, & 1 AR-15! — For us, it’s about protection because we live in a bad part of the city. — And anyone who this that guns are wrong, are, honestly, just ignorant about what the Church teaches about self-defense! :) — And I love the advice about “always say a “Hail Mary” for prudence with the weapon and to avoid accidents.” — Thanks! :)

  • English Catholic

    This European (well, English — it’s different, you know) Catholic has nothing but admiration for America’s intelligent gun laws, which allow the law-abiding to protect themselves against criminals and tyrants. Most people in my country forget that, until the 1950s, you had a right to be armed in public; and until 1920, you didn’t even need any paperwork. It was a jealously-guarded right, now completely forgotten in the (deliberately-imposed) historical amnesia we suffer from.

    Americans, look at us and be warned!

    If I ever decide to move to America (unlike most Brits, I have the option to), getting a carry permit will be one of the first things I do. (Indeed, I would consider it remiss, perhaps even sinful, not to.)

  • Jack in Texas

    Growing up, hunting was a family event with folks from church who brought campers, converted buses, and tents. Our sign read “Deer city pop. 51″. All schools closed the week of Thanksgiving as everyone in the little town of Broken Bow OK went to the mountains with their families. We watched out for each other and everyone including neighboring camps turned out when someone got lost. We learned guns are tools and the hard work of butchering begins after the shooting. We always gave thanks for our food.

  • Chip Field

    Dear Dr. Marshall,

    You are a deep thinker. I want to encourage you to think deeply about the possibility that, perhaps, you may not yet have thought deeply enough on this subject. What at first thought seems to be a frivolous lark, played out during a few hours when more serious concerns have taken a rest, actually has far-reaching implications, rippling through such important issues as the nature of gun rights, the nature of mankind’s dominion over the rest of creation, environmental stewardship, and the cause-and-effect relationship between one’s intent and sin.

    Complicated moral issues should be examined with care, and incrementally. So, as a first step, how about we see if we can agree on whether hunting for pleasure in the woods and hunting for food in
    the grocery store are equivalent moral circumstances. If we are going to use either action as a
    defense for the other, we need to first decide whether they are similar enough in nature to be compared. We can decide about “right” and “wrong” choices later.

    Please think about the two scenarios under consideration:

    1. Choosing an action (enticed by pleasure), the direct and personal by-product of which you know
    will certainly be suffering in another in your pursuit of “fun” (your word choice, scroll up).

    2. Compelled to an action (compelled by hunger), the indirect and impersonal by-product of which
    you suspect might possibly contribute to the cause of suffering in another in your pursuit of food.

    Key points: Scenario #1 Scenario #2
    Culpability Man’s free choice Man compelled by hunger
    Motivation Pleasure Survival
    Suffering Caused Certainly Possibly
    Man as cause Direct and personal Indirect and impersonal

    These two scenarios do not appear to be morally equivalent circumstances. If you agree that the two scenarios are not morally equivalent circumstances, we can move on now to poke around on the questions of “right” choices and “wrong” choices. If, on the other hand, you see these two scenarios as being morally equivalent circumstances, then some heavy lifting remains for us to do right here.

    Cheers.

    Chip Field
    3-1-14

  • Chip Field

    Dear Dr. Marshall,

    You are a deep thinker. I want to encourage you to think deeply about the possibility that, perhaps, you may not yet have thought deeply enough on this subject. What at first thought seems to be a frivolous lark, played out during a few hours when more serious concerns have taken a rest, actually has far-reaching implications, rippling through such important issues as the nature of gun rights, the nature of mankind’s dominion over the rest of creation, environmental stewardship,and the cause-and-effect relationship between one’s intent and sin.

    Complicated moral issues should be examined with care, and incrementally. So, as a first step, how about we see if we can agree on whether hunting for pleasure in the woods and hunting for food in
    the grocery store are equivalent moral circumstances. If we are going to use either action as a
    defense for the other, we need to first decide whether they are similar enough in nature to be compared. We can decide about “right” and “wrong” choices later.

    Please think about the two scenarios under consideration:

    1. Choosing an action (enticed by pleasure), the direct and personal by-product of which you know
    will certainly be suffering in another in your pursuit of “fun” (your word choice, scroll up).

    2. Compelled to an action (compelled by hunger), the indirect and impersonal by-product of which
    you suspect might possibly contribute to the cause of suffering in another in your pursuit of food.

    Key points: Scenario #1 vs. Scenario #2
    Culpability: Man’s free choice vs. Man compelled by hunger
    Motivation: Pleasure vs. Survival
    Suffering Caused: Certainly vs. Possibly
    Man as cause: Direct and personal vs. Indirect and impersonal

    These two scenarios do not appear to be morally equivalent circumstances. If you agree that the two scenarios are not morally equivalent circumstances, we can move on now to poke around on the questions of “right” choices and “wrong” choices. If, on the other hand, you see these two scenarios as being morally equivalent circumstances, then some heavy lifting remains for us to do right here.

    Cheers.

    Chip Field
    3-1-14

    • Chip Field

      Dear Dr. Marshall,

      I have not heard back from you regarding my comments to you dated 3-1-14 (scroll up), by which I observed that Grocery Hunting For Food and Wilderness Hunting for Fun do
      present dissimilar moral questions. Having no word from you, I will assume that we are still confusing grocery aisles with forest trails, so I will shift gears to a narrower focus, specifically addressing the two arguments you make in your 2-28-14 response to my same-day comments which I entered on your Blog (scroll up to read). We can go from there.

      Dr. Marshall, 2-28-14: “The joy of the hunt is not in the kill, but in the pursuit and training.”

      Chip, 3-3-14: “If there were no joy in the killing, but certain knowledge that the killing would cause suffering in another, then the good man would not kill. If the only joy is in the ‘pursuit and training’, then hunters’ ammo would be paint balls, not bullets.”

      Dr. Marshall, 2-28-14: “However, the (hunted) animals do die and it is painful. But the same is true about chicken, ground beef, and tuna.”

      Chip, 3-3-14: “Willing the unnecessary suffering of others is moral error, regardless of venue. That slaughterhouse suffering exists in pursuit of food does not purify the hunter’s personal decision to impose suffering on others in pursuit of pleasure.”

      Cheers.

      Chip Field
      3-3-14

      “We must love them both, those whose opinions we share and those whose opinions we reject. For both have labored in the search for truth, and both have helped us in the finding of it.” -Aquinas

  • See

    I am an ordained permanent deacon and a reserve deputy with the sheriff’s office in Montgomery county TN. Thank you for bringing this saint to my attn bc I had not heard of him before! Clearly I agree with your comments. We have a right to self defense and a duty to protect the innocent. God bless you!

  • Peter Alexander

    Patron Saint of Handguns? Meet St Gabriel PossentiBy Dr. Taylor Marshall

    Looking for a patron saint of handguns?

    My oldest son is named Gabriel – after the Archangel Saint Gabriel. However, he has developed a great devotion to Saint Gabriel Possenti over the years for two reasons: first, he is a saint of holy purity, but more important to his 11 year old mind – Gabriel Possenti is the patron saint of handguns.

    I can hear the wave of opposition building. Whenever I mention guns on this blog (or gun safes for Christmas), I get some backlash from well-meaning Catholics (usually European) that believe that guns are horrible, wicked, and evil. They find my appreciate for guns immature and misguided for a Catholic.

    Oh well…

    I’ll try to “disarm” you at the beginning. Yes, we use guns as tools to hunt for food. If you’re a city slicker from LA or Paris, this may sound foreign to you, but here in Texas we still kill animals, cook them, pray over them, and then eat them.

    As my Franciscan friend Father Pio Hoffman says, “Yes, of course we Franciscans love animals. They are delicious.”

    And as my father (who has a PhD in Meat Science from Texas A&M) says, “If God didn’t want us to eat animals, why did he make them out of meat?”

    Joy’s dad brought us about 100 pounds of elk meat that he hunted. It’s in our freezer.

    I’m hunting for Nilgai meat (South Texas) in March with my father, brother, and brother in law. My son also ate the deer that he patiently hunted last year.

    Gentlemen, you haven’t lived until you have hunted, shot, cleaned, butchered, roasted, and eaten your own meat. Can I get a witness?

    Also, I’m a big believer that firearms, when carefully respected are a great source of sport and recreation. Did you see them in the Olympics, by the way. I don’t know who thought of this sport, skiing and shooting, but it’s cool to watch:

    My wife and I have also been trained in self-defense with a handgun, so, seriously, don’t mess with Joy!

    By the way, I follow my friend Jordan Low’s rule, when you pick up a gun, always say a “Hail Mary” for prudence with the weapon and to avoid accidents.

    All this is to say that guns can have a proper place in the life a Christian man or woman. With proper supervision and gun safe’s to prevent accidents, young adults can also enjoy guns in the context of hunting, sport, and self-defense.

    Patron Saint of Handguns, Gabriel Possenti

    Saint Gabriel Possenti’s feast day is February 27. He is the patron of hanguns because his marksmanship enabled him to rescue a woman about to be raped by a marauding gang of thugs at Isola del Gran Sasso, Italy in 1860.

    Here’s the story:

    After freeing a young woman from would-be rapists, St. Gabriel Possenti confronted the onrushing brigands waving revolvers. At that moment, Possenti fired at a lizard that happened to be running across the road and dispatched it with one shot. Thus having demonstrated his excellent handgun marksmanship, he was able to take command of the situation and ran the now-frightened brigands out of town.

    St. Gabriel Possenti performed this feat of courage without causing physical harm to a single human being.

    St. Gabriel Possenti died in 1862. He was canonized by Pope Benedict XV in 1920.

    Shoot ‘em up, pow, pow. Poor lizard.

    Saint Gabriel Possenti, pray for us.

    Question: If you’re a Christian who enjoys hunting and marksmanship, please leave a comment below. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

    The post Patron Saint of Handguns? Meet St Gabriel Possenti appeared first on Taylor Marshall.

  • http://en-fuego.blogspot.com/ JR Labio

    I just got my CHL at the end of last year (Groupon is dangerous…)… But I took a lot of KINE archery classes while at A&M and since graduation, I have invested in a recurve bow. I suppose handgun was the next logical step in my appreciation for projectiles.

    Though I don’t hunt…I do have malice towards paper. But you can’t skin and eat paper, lol. (I mean you can…but…that’s awkward…)

    Thanks for sharing about this saint, Dr. Marshall! I really like the idea of saying a Hail Mary every time I pick up a gun.

  • Marie Dean

    Great Post! thanks and nice to know there is another protector out there amongst the peter pans and predators….

  • Robert

    I find target practice to be very relaxing and look forward to teaching my daughter to use the rifle when she is old enough. We’ve already talked to her the basics of weapon safety in the house and if she’s at a friends house and comes across weapons what she is to do including how to disarm one of her friends that points a weapon at her, even if only in play and how important it is to not touch the weapons.

  • C

    Finally, an articulate, credentialed academic, and devout Catholic, who espouses the usefulness of this tool. For self defense, the protection of the innocent, the fun of target shooting, to the challenge of the hunt, you represent a considered, rational voice concerning this wildly emotional topic. Thank you.

  • Jim from Jersey

    Si vis pacem para bellum!

  • sequax

    Taylor, now I want to see a “spaghetti western” about the life of this saint. That scene would play perfectly in a movie!

    Anyone who has not at least had fun firing a .22 in a range needs to do so to experience some real fun. Yes, even though it’s a harmless paper target (with a blue bullseye on it). A friend of mine says, “Target shooting. It’s like golf, only faster.” :) (And more fun, IMO.)

  • Chris Malloy

    Awesome! Thanks Taylor. Hey, any good book for boys on Possenti? Chris Malloy.

  • Phillip Greco

    Amen, you have a witness. Had no idea there was such a saint! The icon will be on my wall at home and wall at work. I’ll be saying at least one extra hail Mary each day now after reading the post, if you know what I mean.

  • Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ

    Catholics also can look to St. Hubert (Feast day November 3) as a patron saint for hunters. Not only can we seek his intercession for safety in the hunt and success in the harvest, but we can also seek his intercession to keep us as ethical hunters who are generous in sharing their harvested meat and in training new hunters. These are also very rewarding aspects of the hunt and I am honored to have hunted with a number of truly upstanding, good people in many states of this country. If you are interested, check out my website Saint Hubert Lodge and my Facebook page with the same name in order to download some prayers for hunters and good stories by other hunters (and any you want to include). God bless you and may St. Hubert pray for you.