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Gun Saint Society Names Catholic United States Senator Man of the Year in Washington, D.C.

Contact:  John Snyder, St. Gabriel Possenti Society, 202-239-8005, gundean@aol.com 

WASHINGTON, March 6, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE), left, received a special St. Gabriel Possenti Society award here from John M. Snyder, Society President.

The Society named Sen. Johanns, a practicing Catholic, Man of the Year for his support of the right to self-defense.

Photo by Ling Woo.

On February 27, Snyder presented the plaque to Sen. Johanns during a ceremony on the 150th anniversary Feast Day of St. Gabriel Possenti.  Snyder also presented Sen. Johanns with a boxed medallion featuring a profile of St. Gabriel Possenti custom designed for the Society in Rome, Italy.

Sen. Johanns' wife Stephanie accompanied her husband to the banquet.

Prior to the banquet, a group of St. Gabriel Possenti devotees attended Mass at St. Matthew's Cathedral.

A former governor of the Cornhusker State and a former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Johanns was elected to the U.S. Senate from Nebraska in 2008 and took office in 2009.  He serves on five Senate committees:  Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; Environment and Public Works; Indian Affairs; and Veterans' Affairs.

Snyder said, "Sen. Johanns exemplifies the principles held in such high regard by the St. Gabriel Possenti Society, Inc.  The interdenominational, international Society emphasizes the historical, philosophical and theological bases for the right of self-defense."

The Society's patron, St. Gabriel Possenti, a seminarian, rescued villagers of Isola del Gran Sasso, Italy in 1860 from renegade marauders.  By shooting a lizard running across the road, he demonstrated his handgun marksmanship to the terrorists and marched them out of town.  He did this without causing physical harm to a single human being.

A detailed account of the lizard incident comprises a chapter on "The Savior of Isola" in "Son of the Passion," a biography of St. Gabriel Possenti by Possenti's fellow Passionist, the late Rev. Godfrey Poage, C.P., published in 1962 in Milwaukee by Bruce Publishing Company.  Snyder recounts it in his book, "Gun Saint," published in 2003 in Arlington, Virginia by Telum Associates, LL.C.

St. Gabriel Possenti was canonized by Pope Benedict XV in 1920.  The Society (www.gunsaint.com) seeks his Vatican designation as Patron of Handgunners.