March 26th 1805 - Gruber Gabriel
† in Petersburg
He was born on Mai 6th 1740 in Vienna. In the year 1755 he entered the Society of Jesus. After studies in Graz he was after 1773 Professor for Mechanics and Hydraulics in Laibach, until in 1784 he visited the Jesuits in White Russia. There he was included again into the Order. He was active as engineer, chemist, building master, painter, mechanic and physician. By him the College in Polozk became a famous academy of the technical science. In the year 1800 he became the first Rector of the College for Aristocrats in Petersburg, which had been created by him.
The General Congregation in Polozk made him on October 10th 1802 highest Superior of the Order. Father Gruber did no longer see the banishment of the Jesuits from Russia. Under Father Gruber, the first General of the Society of Jesus for Russia and Naples, the pastoral care for the German settlers at the Volga was taken over. Several Fathers worked there from 1803 till 1820.
The chief work of Father Gruber was devoted to the colleges, particularly in Polozk and Petersburg, where also the St Catherine Church became a centre of the Jesuits' activity. Father Gruber strove also for the acknowledgment of the Order in Naples, which took place in 1804.
Father Gruber died by a conflagration. His friend Joseph de Maitre, since 1803 the envoy of Sardinia in Petersburg, hurried on the scene of the misfortune and was an eyewitness of the heart-wrenching death of his friend. Father Gruber was killed by the fire of the pre-seminary of the Society of Jesus.
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