On the morning of 21st September, 2014, the new Shrine of St. Gabriel in Gran Sasso, Italy, was consecrated. The Rite of Consecration (that lasted approximately three hours) was presided over by the Special Envoy of Pope Francis, Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, Archbishop of Florence and now President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council for the Family. On the occasion of the consecration the Pope Francis sent to a special letter that was read at the beginning of the Mass.
The consecration of one of the largest contemporary shrines of Europe that is visited each year by two million pilgrims, was attended by the bishop of Teramo-Atri, Bishop Michael Seccia, the bishop of Sanggau (Indonesia), Bishop Giulio Mencuccini, and the Superior General of the Congregation of the Passion, Most. Rev. Joachim Rego and the General Council of the Passionists. Also present were the Provincial Superior of the Passionist PIET Province, Fr. Piergiorgio Bartoli, as well as many priests, religious and civil and various members of the military. Also some relatives of St. Gabriel from Rome were in attendance as well as some delegations of immigrant associations from Philadelphia (USA), Melbourne and Brisbane (Australia) and Dour (Belgium).
At the end of the celebration a dedicatory plaque commemorating the consecration was unveiled. The Rite of Consecration was attended by more than five thousand faithful, but throughout the day almost ten thousand faithful visited the Shrine.
[Fr. Vincenzo Fabri, C.P.]
Read more about St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows, Passionist here