Sts Michael, Gabriel and Raphael the Archangels
These archangels, messengers sent by God, are the only ones named in the Bible.
In the Book of Daniel, Michael is called “the great prince”; in the Letter of Jude, he argues with the devil over Moses’ body; and in the Book of Revelation, he leads the battle against Satan.
He is patron of the sick, radiologists and mariners.
Gabriel explains Daniel’s visions to him in the Book of Daniel, and in the Gospel of Luke announces to Zechariah and Mary the births of their respective sons.
He is the patron of messengers and telecommunications and postal workers.
Raphael guides Tobiah in the Book of Tobit; he is patron of the blind, physicians and travellers.
The church created their joint feast after the Second Vatican Council.
The chief angels of the high order are Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.
Michael is viewed as a guide to heaven, protector of God’s chosen people, foe of Satan and guardian of the church. Gabriel, revealed of the Incarnation, announced the births of John the Baptist and Christ.
Tradition honours Raphael, an angel of healing, as head of guardian angels, those who hear prayers and bring them to God.
In artwork these messengers of God are depicted as winged beings, a possible reference to the appearance of Gabriel “in rapid flight” to the prophet Daniel.
Text: Catholic News Service
Photo: EamonnPKeane/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0