The name of the Archangel of the Annunciation, Gabriel, means "God's strength"

The name Gabriel means "God's strength" or "God is my strength." In the Old Testament, the angel Gabriel announced to the prophet Daniel the end of the kingdom of iniquity and the coming of a new time (Daniel 8:16 and 9: 21).

In the New Testament, the angel Gabriel intervened twice: in Jerusalem, he announced to Zechariah the birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:19), and in Nazareth, he announced to the Virgin Mary that she was called to become the mother of Jesus, the Son of the Most High (Luke 1: 26-38).

Indeed, the Virgin Mary needed "God’s strength" at the moment of the Incarnation, as Pope Saint John Paul II eloquently put it in his apostolic letter Mulieris dignitatem on the dignity and vocation of women, § 3:

Hence Mary attains a union with God that exceeds all the expectations of the human spirit. It even exceeds the expectations of all Israel, in particular the daughters of this Chosen People, who, on the basis of the promise, could hope that one of their number would one day become the mother of the Messiah. Who among them, however, could have imagined that the promised Messiah would be "the Son of the Most High"? On the basis of the Old Testament's monotheistic faith such a thing was difficult to imagine. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit, who "overshadowed" her, was Mary able to accept what is "impossible with men, but not with God" (cf. Mk 10: 27).

The angel Gabriel, "strength of God," supports the vocation of the protagonists of the new times: John the Baptist, the Virgin Mary, Jesus ... and us too when we invoke him!


F. Breynaert