The St. Gabriel Possenti Society, Inc. [website here] this week awarded Jeanne Assam its Medal and Certificate of Honor, founder and Chairman John M. Snyder announced.
Snyder said that "Assam is a true heroine who manifests the qualities of personal courage, faith in Almighty God, and genuine charity towards one's neighbors valued so highly by our Society. She certainly is most deserving of this Award. I sent it to her in care of Rev. Brady Boyd, her church's Senior Pastor who said that she probably had saved the lives of a hundred people by her action."
The interdenominational Society is named for St. Gabriel Possenti, a Catholic seminarian who used a handgun to rescue villagers of Isola del Gran Sasso, Italy from a gang of 20 marauders in 1860. After rescuing a young woman from a rapist, Possenti's single-shot shooting of a running lizard so impressed the gang that they willingly obeyed his orders to disarm and leave town. Possenti died a couple of years later of natural causes and was canonized by Pope Benedict XV in 1920. The international Society seeks Possenti's official Vatican designation as Patron of Handgunners.