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The Story of Archangels

Updated: Feb 27, 2023

Archangels are perfect, spiritual, incorporeal beings created by God. Their mission is to be servants and messengers, they contemplate God. They are spirits that exist for God and in God. There is an angelic hierarchy.

Indeed, three archangels are at the top. They are Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. Their duties are even higher and more important than the other angels. They have the task of contemplating God by day and by night. They have to glorify Him unceasingly. They also have the mission to preserve and protect his mystery.

Their own names suggest their role. Their own names suggest their role: they all end with "EL" which means "God".

St. Michael

His name derives from the Hebrew Mi-ka-El which means “who is like God?”

Popular iconography represents him as a warrior in armour wielding a sword, or intending to slay a dragon that symbolises the Devil, with a spear. In fact, this is the role played by Michael, that of the fighter fighting against rebel angels who are led by Lucifer. It was Michael who led the heavenly hosts in the war leading to the expulsion of rebellious angels from Paradise, and since then, he has continued to stand up as God’s defender against Evil and its deceits. The theatre for this new battle is no longer heaven, forbidden to Satan, but the souls of we humans, constantly targeted by the flattery of Evil, and instigated at every moment to rebel against God. The Devil tries to convince men that God is a tyrant, who limits their freedom and their own full realisation in the creation. The Archangel Michael is sent from heaven to protect men and guide them, to teach them to distinguish good from evil and truth from falsehood.

St. Gabriel

His name derives from the Hebrew, and means “Power of God” or “God is Mighty”.

In the biblical tradition, he was considered to be one of the angels closest to the throne of God, to the point of being referred to as “the left hand of God”.

He revealed the future birth of John the Baptist to Zechariah, he appeared in a dream to Joseph to make him desist from repudiating Mary, because her pregnancy was the work of the Holy Spirit, and, naturally, because she was the bearer of a miraculous conception and of the birth of Jesus. In this case, more than in any other, he consecrated himself as being the messenger of God. It was Gabriel who appeared to Mary and told her that God had chosen her as the mother for His only Son. No imposition, no obligation. Only a request, addressed by one of the most powerful angels to a simple and humble girl. The role of Gabriel was therefore pivotal. He brings God’s message to us, making it understandable to us, helping us to listen with a pure heart and to accept the will of the Almighty.

St. Raphael

Raphael was considered to be the patron of conjugal love, of young people, engaged couples, spouses, pharmacists, educators, travellers and refugees.

Often depicted with a jar containing medicaments and fishes, he is the patron of pharmacists, travellers and refugees.

His role as a healer, as “God’s Doctor” should always be interpreted as the will to heal the soul, to relieve it from its suffering and make it best disposed to welcome God. By restoring sight to the father of Tobias, Raphael opened his eyes to the Truth of the Almighty, just as, by driving out the demons that persecuted the girl who was promised to him, he made their marriage and and their love possible.

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