Today, September 29th, the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of the three Archangels: Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel and Saint Raphael.
Newsroom (September 29, 2021 1:20 PM, Gaudium Press) The angels were endowed by God with perfect intelligence, and yet they sinned, rebelling against their Creator. Saint Michael, for his faithfulness, received as a reward the mission to protect the Holy Church.
Divided into nine choirs subordinate to each other, the angels who have remained faithful form an invincible army. Their number is incalculable. There are only three angels whose proper names the Holy Scriptures make known to us.
St. Michael: Captain of the heavenly army
St. Michael is the great captain of the heavenly army. His name Michael means, who is like unto God? fo when Lucifer, blinded by pride, wanted to equal the Most High, Michael exclaimed with a thunderous voice, “Who is like unto God?” And accompanied by the faithful angels, he precipitated the rebellious troop of apostates from the heights of heaven. Thus he became the generalissimo of the countless army of the holy angels. It is seen, in the prophets, that he was the protector of the people of Israel; now he is the protector of the Church.
Saint Gabriel: Strength of God
Saint Gabriel, whose name means Strength of God, announces to the prophet Daniel the time of God’s great work, the time of the Son of God made man, Christ condemned to death, the remission of sins, the Gospel preached to all nations, the ruin of Jerusalem and its temple, the final condemnation of the Jewish people. It is the same angel Gabriel who foretells to the priest Zacharias, in the temple, at the altar of perfumes, the birth of a man who will be called John, or full of grace, and who will no longer announce the coming of the Savior, but who will point him out: “Behold the Lamb of God! Behold the one who takes away the sins of the world!” It is the same archangel, always sent to announce great things, who will go to the humble home of Nazareth to announce to the Virgin Mary the greatest of all things; to communicate that, without ceasing to be a virgin, she would give birth to the Son of the Most High, who would be called Jesus or Savior because he would be the Savior of the world. It is this glorious archangel who teaches us to say as he did, “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you, blessed are you among women!”
Saint Raphael: God’s Healer
Saint Raphael, whose name means Physician or God’s Healer, makes himself known to Tobias: “When you prayed, you and Sarah your daughter-in-law, or presented the memorial of your prayers before the holy one; and when you buried the dead, he was present with you. When you refused to rise from the table and leave your supper to cushion a dead person, the good that you did did did not remain hidden; for I was with you. And because you were pleasing to God, it was necessary that you should be tested. But now God has sent me to heal you and Sarah, the wife of your Son. I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who present the prayers of the saints, and who can stand before the majesty of the Most Holy! (EPC)
Compiled by Zephania Gangl