Feast of the Archangels – September 29
ST. MICHAEL, ST. GABRIEL, ST. RAPHAEL
Introduction to the Angels
Since ancient times the Angels have been venerated with great respect. With the rise of New Age and Occultism comes an urgent need to understand these celestial benefactors in the light of our Catholic faith and tradition.
Angels are pure spirits, sinless servants of God. “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent to minister for them who shall receive the inheritance of salvation?” Heb. 1:13-14. The Angels are comprised of 9 choirs; Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions, Powers, Virtues, Principalities, Archangels and Angels. Particularly powerful are the 7 great Archangels spoken of in Apoc VIII:2 “And I saw 7 Angels standing in the presence of God”.
When Luciel (Bearer of Light) rebelled against God and became Lucifer (Prince of Darkness) one entire choir of angels followed him and was lost. Many angels from other choirs also followed him in his rebellion. “And there was a great battle in heaven, Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought, and his angels: And they prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And that great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, who is called the devil and satan, who seduceth the whole world; and he was cast unto the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” Apoc 12:7-9
7 angels from the second lowest choir were so outraged by the terrible offense to the dignity of the Most High they positioned themselves between the Throne of God and the infernal offenders, prepared to defend the honor and dignity of God, in spite of their inferiority to Lucifer and his legions. God was so moved by their heroic love he elevated them, enriching them with many new gifts and graces. So lofty was their new office that they were given the privilege of standing eternally before the Throne of God to carry out the Divine Will. “And from the throne proceeded lightnings and voices and thunders; and there were seven lamps burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God.” Apoc 4:5. “Bless the Lord all ye His angels: you that are mighty in strength and execute His word, hearkening to the voice of His orders.” Ps 102:20
The names of the 3 most commonly invoked Archangels, St. Michael, St. Raphael and St. Gabriel are found in Sacred Scripture. Unlike sects tied to a Bible-only understanding of God and creation we have sacred tradition, the writings of the saints and private revelation to expand our understanding and enlighten us.
In 1050 St. Celias made an exhaustive study of the approved writings of the Early Church Fathers up to the 4th century. In this way we have come to know the names of all 7 of these mighty Archangels, the meaning of their names and the sacrament each is patron of.
Since the 4th century these 7 Archangels have been honored in the Roman Martyrology. In Mettenheim Bavaria is the Catholic Church dedicated to the Seven Great Archangels. It is now over 250 years old. On the 18th of October 1720, this church was dedicated. Each of the 7 Archangels was mentioned by name in the consecration prayer by Rev. Franz Wagensberg, Bishop of Salzberg. Inside the church are 7 altars, each dedicated to one of the Archangels with a statue of the Archangel it was dedicated to. The dedication by a legitimate Catholic Bishop is additional proof of the correctness of the names and an encouragement to active devotion to these angels!
Pope Pius V said in his Bull to the Spanish Clergy, permitting and encouraging the worship of the seven archangels: “One cannot exalt too much these seven rectors of the world, figured by the seven planets, as it is consoling to our century to witness by the grace of God the cult of these seven ardent lights, and of these seven stars reassuming all its luster in the Christian republic.” (Les Sept Esprits et l’Histoire de leur Culte; De Mirville’s 2nd memoir addressed to the academy. Vol. II. p. 358.)
Michelangelo was ordered to adorn the church dedicated to Mary and the Seven Archangels, with a fresco of 7 Archangels on the altar, in Rome in the 16th century. In addition, the liturgy to Seven Archangels has been confirmed and was still in use around 1800 and has not been abolished, only it is not being practiced.
Below is the fresco of Mary amidst the Seven Archangels, in St Maria Degli Angeli in Rome from the web page: http://www.santamariadegliangeliroma.it.
Originally, during the reign of Pope Gregor XIII it was intended to build seven separate chapels there, dedicated to each of the Seven Archangels.
St. Michael’s Name Means “Who is like unto God?”
Patron of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.
He is Leader of the Armies of Heaven. As a warrior he defends not only our souls against the infernal enemy when we call on him, but he also defends Our Lord, Who is helpless in the Blessed Sacrament. This is a portent of his authority to punish those who sin against this Sacrament.
Prayer: St. Michael the Archangel defend us in this day of battle! Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls! Amen
~ composed by Pope Leo XIII after seeing a vision of the Church in our day
Oh holy St. Michael come to our aid with all the holy angels! Teach us to keep the faith in these times of darkness! Inspire us to fight for our souls and the souls of others! Teach us to win in silence and obedience to God. Teach us to love and be faithful to Mary, Queen of the Angels! Amen
St. Gabriel’s Name Means “God Conquers/ the Might of God”
Patron of the Sacrament of Baptism
St. Gabriel is the Archangel of the Annunciation and the Incarnation’s triumph over sin & death. His lilies represent the new purity of the soul through the sacraments of Baptism and Confession, both sacraments made possible by the Redemption. His banner is a declaration of Our Lady’s universal motherhood.
Heavenly Father, through the salutation of the Archangel Gabriel, may we honor the Incarnation of Your Divine Son. Through his faithful intercessions may we strive always to imitate the holy virtues of the Mother of our Savior and respond to our Father, “Be it done unto me according to Thy Word”. Archangel Gabriel, please praise our Father for the gift of His Son, praying, one day by His grace, through His Mother, we may all be one fold, one Church, one Shepherd. Amen
~ adapted from the chaplet of St. Gabriel
Oh holy St. Gabriel come to our aid with your legion of angels! Help us to become good servants of Our Lord! Help us to regain and preserve our Baptismal purity that we may become His worthy servants. When we fall, guide us to repentance and confession that we may restore it! Through your intercessions help our souls become havens of peace where Our Lord and Our Lady love to come and rest. Amen
St. Raphael’s Name Means “God Heals/ the Healing of God”
Patron of the Sacrament of Penance
Raphael carries a jug of oil for annointing. The fish traditionally symbolizes the soul and the oil the healing of it’s ailments through confession. The fish is also a reminder of the story of his protection of young Tobias and healing his father Tobit. (see the book of Tobit in the Old Testament for his story; only a Catholic bible will contain this
St. Raphael the Archangel
You are Raphael the Healer,
You are Raphael the Guide,
You are Raphael the Companion,
Ever at human sorrow’s side.
St. Raphael, Angel of health, of true conjugal love, of joy and Divine light, pray for us! Amen
~from the chaplet of St. Raphael
Oh holy St. Raphael come to our aid with your legion of angels! May your strength and love grow within us. Intercede for us that the love of God and the Immaculata may reign in our hearts and triumph over the hatred and uncleanness spread in the world by the evil spirits. Amen
THE VIRGIN MARY IN THE KINGDOM OF THE DIVINE WILL – DAY 19
Now, child of my Heart, pay attention to Me and listen: several days before the descent of the Eternal Word upon earth, I could see Heaven opened and the Sun of the Divine Word at Its doors, as though to look out for the one upon whom He was to take His flight, to render Himself Celestial Prisoner of one creature. Oh, how beautiful it was to see Him at the doors of Heaven, as though on the lookout to spy the fortunate creature who was to host her Creator! The Sacrosanct Trinity no longer looked at the earth as alien to It, because there was little Mary who, by possessing the Divine Will, had formed Its Divine Kingdom in which the Word could safely descend, as in His own residence, in which He would find Heaven and the many suns of the many acts of Divine Will done within my soul. The Divinity overflowed with love, and removing the mantle of Justice which It had worn with the creatures for so many centuries, It covered Itself with the mantle of infinite mercy, and decreed the descent of the Word… and It was now in the act of sounding the hour of fulfillment! At this sound, Heaven and earth were astounded, and all stood at attention, to be spectators of such a great excess of love, and a prodigy so unheard-of.
Your Mama felt ignited with love, and echoing the love of my Creator, I wanted to form one single sea of love, so that the Word might descend upon earth within it. My prayers were incessant, and while I was praying in my little room, an Angel (Gabriel) came, sent from Heaven as messenger of the great King. He came before Me, and bowing, he hailed Me: “Hail, O Mary, our Queen; the Divine Fiat has filled You with grace. He has already pronounced His Fiat, for He wants to descend; He is just behind my shoulders, but He wants your Fiat to form the fulfillment of His Fiat.”
At such a great announcement, so much desired by Me – although I had never thought I was to be the chosen one – I was stupefied and I hesitated one instant. But the Angel of the Lord told Me: “Do not fear, our Queen, for You have found grace before God. You have conquered your Creator; therefore, to complete the victory – pronounce your Fiat.”
I pronounced my Fiat, and – oh, marvel! – the two Fiat fused together and the Divine Word descended into Me. My Fiat, which received the same value as the Divine Fiat, from the seed of my humanity, formed the tiny little Humanity which was to enclose the Word, and so the great prodigy of the Incarnation was accomplished.
BOOK OF HEAVEN
Most Holy Virgin, lovable Mother, come to my aid, obtain for me from your sweet Jesus and mine, grace and strength in order to do this obedience. Saint Joseph, my dear protector, assist me in this circumstance of mine. Archangel Saint Michael, defend me from the infernal enemy, who puts so many obstacles in my mind to make me fail this obedience. Archangel Saint Rafael and you, my guardian Angel, come to assist me and accompany me, and to direct my hand, that I may write nothing but the truth.