September 29 is the Feast of the Archangels. How much do you know about the archangels? You probably know their names, Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, but how much do you really know about them? Here are 10 totally awesome facts about these angelic beings.
1. Their Names Are Legit
The name Michael means “Who is like unto God”.
Gabriel means “Strength of God”.
Raphael’s name means “God Heals”.
2. Each Archangel Has a Special Relationship to a Member of the Holy Trinity
Because he is the one chosen to defend against Satan, St. Michael is often associated with God the Father. St. Gabriel was chosen to announce the Incarnation to Mary and is, therefore, often thought of as having a special connection to God the Son. As one who brings healing to Tobit in the Old Testament, Raphael has a special relationship with God the Holy Spirit who is also known for healing.
3. The Term “Archangel” Can Refer to a Member of the Eighth Choir of Angels or to a “Leader Angel”
If you are casually looking at a list of the nine choirs of angels, you might be saddened to see that the archangels are almost at the bottom of the list. However, fret not! This does not mean Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael are near the bottom of the totem pole.
4. The Three Archangels You Know and Love are Just Three of Seven
In the Book of Tobit, Raphael refers to himself as “one of the seven angels who stand and serve before the Glory of the Lord.” Does this mean there are seven archangels? Probably! Do we know the names of the other four archangels? Perhaps, traditions that have their origins in apocryphal writings and have been passed down through the years hold that their names are: Uriel, Raguel, Sariel and Jerahmeel. The veneration of “St. Uriel” is still practiced by some Anglican and Orthodox Christians. Does that mean we can ask for their intercession? No, Pope Zachary put a stop to that in 745 A.D. when he restricted the use of names for angels to just the names mentioned in the Bible (Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael). To communicate with spirits with these names could mean communicating with evil spirits. Uriel is apparently popular within the New Age movement. Be safe and avoid anything to do with the New Age or any other occult movement. File this information under: “Useless Trivia.”
5. St. Raphael is a Key Character in the Book of Tobit
Without Raphael’s help, Tobit never regains his site, Tobiah does not meet his wife Sarah, Sarah does not end her streak of having husbands die on their wedding night, and Tobiah does not retrieve the money his father deposited in the town of Media in the event something tragic happened to him, like a bird pooping in his eyes causing blindness.
6. Single? Lonely and/or Desperate? St. Raphael is the Patron Saint for You
Because he united Sarah and Tobit (and kept Tobit alive on their wedding night), St. Raphael is the patron Saint of happy meetings and for those seeking their future spouse.
7. St. Michael Visited and Spoke to St. Joan of Arc
St. Joan of Arc reported her inspiration for demanding to help defend France from English invaders to visits she received from St. Catherine of Alexandria, St. Margaret, and St. Michael the Archangel.
8. St. Michael Can Help Fight Porn
St. Michael leads the charge against Satan. This position makes him invaluable when it comes to fighting spiritual battles. Therefore, when the temptation to sin is especially strong, it is good to call for St. Michael’s aid. I know a FOCUS missionary who relies heavily on St. Michael’s intercession when it comes to his struggle with porn.
9. St. Gabriel is the Patron Saint of the Media
Between telling Zechariah he was going to be both a father and a mute and telling the Blessed Virgin she was to be the mother of the Messiah, St. Gabriel has been a part of some major announcements. Because of this, he is the patron of the media. So, when you see a ridiculous news story about what the mainstream media thinks Pope Francis said, ask St. Gabriel to intercede.
10. St. Gabriel Helped Daniel Understand His Visions
In Daniel 8:15-19, we read:
While I, Daniel, sought the meaning of the vision I had seen, one who looked like a man stood before me, and on the Ulai I heard a human voice that cried out, “Gabriel,* explain the vision to this man.” When he came near where I was standing, I fell prostrate in terror. But he said to me, “Understand, O son of man, that the vision refers to the end time.”As he spoke to me, I fell forward unconscious; he touched me and made me stand up.“I will show you,” he said, “what is to happen in the last days of wrath; for it is for the appointed time of the end.