This week, September 29th (Tuesday) is the feast of the archangels, Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. The liturgy celebrates the three archangels who are venerated in the tradition of the Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls “angels” is a truth of faith (#328).” Angels are immortal, pure, created spirits with intellect, and will. The name “angel” means servant or messenger of God. Angels are on a higher order than human beings as they have no bodies and do not depend on matter for their existence or activity. Archangels are one of the nine choirs of angels listed in the Bible. In ascending order, the choirs or classes are 1) Angels, 2) Archangels, 3) Principalities, 4) Powers, 5) Virtues, 6) Dominions, 7) Thrones, 8) Cherubim, and 9) Seraphim. The angelic hierarchy provides a sense of order, progress, and ascent in how God’s infinite knowledge establishes and maintains the order and beauty of creation.
It is traditionally believed that there are only seven archangels. Three of their names occur in Sacred Scripture, and so the Church uses these names in our worship, St. Michael, the prince of the heavenly host and the only one called “archangel” in the Scriptures; St. Gabriel, the messenger of the Incarnation; and St. Raphael, the angel of healing and of medicine.
St. Michael means, in Hebrew, “who is like unto God?” Patron: Against temptations and powers of evil; artists; bakers; bankers; battle; boatmen; cemeteries; coopers; endangered children; dying; Emergency Medical Technicians; fencing; grocers; hatmakers; holy death; knights; mariners; mountaineers; paramedics; paratroopers; police officers; radiologists; sailors; the sick; security forces; soldiers; against storms at sea; swordsmiths; those in need of protection.
St. Gabriel's name means “God is my strength”. Patron: Ambassadors; broadcasting; childbirth; clergy; communications; diplomats; messengers; philatelists; postal workers; public relations; radio workers; stamp collectors; telecommunications.
St. Raphael means “God has healed”. Our knowledge of the Archangel Raphael comes to us from the book of Tobit. His mission as a wonderful healer and fellow traveler with the youthful Tobias has caused him to be invoked for journeys and at critical moments in life. Tradition also holds that Raphael is the angel that stirred the waters at the healing sheep pool in Bethesda. Patron: Blind; bodily ills; counselors; druggists; eye problems; guardian angels; happy meetings; healers; health inspectors; health technicians; love; lovers; mental illness; nurses; pharmacists; physicians; shepherds; against sickness; therapists; travelers; young people; young people leaving home for the first time.
Saint Michael the archangel, Saint Gabriel, and Saint Raphael pray for us! St. Mary Help of Christians, pray for us!
Blessings and peace,
Father FranciscoBACK TO LIST