Saturday, September 29, 2012

Feast of St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and St. Raphael

Sept 29th is the Feast of the Three Archangels.
The Three Archangels with Tobias
Our knowledge of the angels comes from many sources.  The first of which is Sacred Scriptures which are infallible.  We also know a great deal about Angels from Saints.

St. Michael 
The name Michael means, "Who is like to God?" St. Michael is considered the patron saint and protector of the Church. St. Michael and the good angels are credited with driving satan from Heaven into the realms of Hell.

"Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him." Revelations 12:7-9

St. Gabriel
St. Gabriel first appears in the book of Daniel and refers to St. Michael as a Prince.  St. Gabriel is also the angel who appears to Mary during the Annunciation.

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” 
“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.” 
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. (Luke 1:26-38)

St. Raphael
St. Raphael means health or medicine of God.  His intercession is often sought for healing or protection during travel.  In the book of Tobias there is an account of the angel Raphael.

One of the daily devotions that I have is to St. Michael and all of the choirs angels.  It is my daily practice to say the Chaplet of St. Michael while I walk to Mass.  Before I start the Chaplet I ask St. Michael and all the angels to protect myself, my family, all members of the children's rosary and all priests in the Church collective from satan and all the evil spirits.  I also ask them to protect me from injury either from my self or from other people unless God wills me to be injured and then I ask them to pray that I may accept it with love.  (The reason I ask for protection from injury is that I have a genetic condition where I dislocate joints frequently.  Sometimes I accidentally injure myself).  On days when I am unable to say the chaplet I find by the end of the day I have been under stronger temptations to lose my temper or do something during the day that I feel badly about.  When I reflect on those times of greatest temptation to sin they have been days when I have failed to say the chaplet.  I also feel in a special way the chaplet has allowed the virtue of humility to grow within myself.  This is something I continue to struggle with but I am thankful to the angels who through the Chaplet of St. Michael intercede before the Lord to infuse a sincere spirit of humility within my heart.

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