The name Gabriel means "Man of God" or "God Has Shown Himself Mightily." It
appears first in the prophecies of Daniel in the Old Testament. This Angel
announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks, (Daniel 9, 21-27). His
name also occurs in the apocryphal book of Henoch. He was the Angel who
appeared to Zechariah to announce the birth of St. John the Baptizer, (Luke 1,
11), the messenger Angel who announced to Mary that she would bear a Son who would be
conceived of the Holy Spirit, Son of the Most High, and the Saviour of the
world, (Luke 1, 26), and the angel who buried Moses.
Within all of the legends of birthing, Gabriel as been accredited as the angel who selects souls from heaven to be birthed into the material world and spends the nine months as the child is being developed informing the new person of what he or she will need to know on Earth, only to silence the child before birth by pressing his finger onto the child's lips, thus producing the cleft below a person's nose.
Gabriel explained to Daniel his vision of a ram and a billy-goat foretelling Alexander the Great's conquest of Persia and a prophecy foretelling the freeing of the Israelites. In both these cases the Archangel is mentioned by name, but it has also been suggested that Gabriel is the angel who wrestles with Jacob in the form of a man and that he was involved in the destruction of Sodom and Gommorah. Enoch says that Gabriel was sent to destroy the giant children of the fallen 'watchers' and did so by turning them against each other In 'Paradise Lost'.
It was Gabriel who dictated the Koran to Muhammad.
According to legend, it is Gabriel who will
blow the horn announcing the second
coming of Christ.
His symbols are the lily and the trumpet.