An elderly parish priest was walking in the portico of the Church, when he came across a couple of young boys.
They were standing in front of the mighty statue of St Michael.
As they stood admiring the majestic figure, the younger one said to his elder brother, “Hey look, what a might sword!
>> This is the sword, which Mummy told, with which this great saint would thrust into the devil isn’t it?”
The elder one nodded and exclaimed, “Yeah! And see how triumphantly he crushes the head of Satan! Wow!”
Seeing their excitement, the priest approached them and commended, “How wonderful to see these little boys who are well taught in the teachings of the Church! Blessed is this family!”
The story goes on to say that the priest took them in the Church and taught them the beautiful prayer to St Michael (which he asked them to recite after the Holy Mass):
“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 about the world seeking the ruin of souls, Amen!”
Today, the Feast of the Archangels – St Michael, St Gabriel, St Raphael- is a reminder by the Church to learn more about our Catholic Faith and to grow in celebrating and living this faith, in our daily living.
Archangels are one of the nine choirs of angels. (cf. Eph 1:21, Col 1:16)
In ascending order, the choirs or classes are 1) Angels, 2) Archangels, 3) Principalities, 4) Powers, 5) Virtues, 6) Dominations, 7) Thrones, 8) Cherubim, and 9) Seraphim.
The Feast of the Three Archangels – St Michael, St Gabriel and St Raphael is an opportunity to learn more about them and to grow in deeper devotion and fondness for them.
1. St. Michael
The name of the archangel Michael means, in Hebrew, “Who is like unto God?”
St Michael is known as “the prince of the heavenly host.”
>> He is usually pictured as a strong warrior, dressed in armour, crushing the head of Satan.
>> He is also known as the “Patron Saint of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist”
St Michael makes an appearance in the Bible on four occasions:
> In Dan 10:13 and in Dan 12:1, he appears as the special guardian of the people of Israel.
> In Jude 9, he appears in a dispute with the Devil.
> In Rev 12:7-9, he fights against Satan and his evil forces.
What does St Michael teach us?
… St Michael teaches us to depend on the power of God in our battle against the forces of Satan
… St Michael teaches us to guard ourselves against the disguises and snares of evil forces.
… St Michael teaches us to become a guard and protector of our fellow brothers and sisters.
2. St Gabriel
The name of the archangel Gabriel means, in Hebrew, “God is my strength”
St Gabriel is known as a “messenger of God”
>> He is usually pictured announcing something and sometimes with a lily or a sceptre.
>> He is also known as the “Patron Saint of the Sacrament of Baptism”
St Gabriel makes an appearance three times in the Bible:
> In Dan 8:15–26 and 9:21–27, he appears to Daniel to explain his visions
> In Lk 1:11-38, he appears to Zechariah and Mary to deliver the good news from God
What does St Gabriel teach us?
… St Gabriel invites us to listen to God’s voice and inspirations through various sources.
… St Gabriel invites us to find courage in situations of fear, by trusting in God’s Providence.
… St Gabriel invites us to be open to surprises and wonders the Lord works in our lives.
3. St Raphael
The name of the archangel Raphael means, in Hebrew, “God has healed?”
St Raphael is known as “a wonderful helper and fellow traveller”
>> He is usually pictured walking with a young boy, sometimes carrying a staff.
>> He is also known as the “Patron Saint of the Sacrament of Reconciliation”
St Raphael makes many appearance in the Book of Tobit in the Bible:
> St Raphael appears disguised in human form as the travelling companion of Tobias, the son of Tobit.
What does St Raphael teach us?
… St Raphael inspires us to discover God as the healing balm in our afflictions and hardships.
… St Raphael inspires us to walk boldly with God in all the terrains and valleys and paths of life.
… St Raphael inspires us to trust in God in seemingly hopeless and impossible hurdles of life.
Modern trends often seek to downplay some of the traditional Catholic beliefs…
… the belief in the Angels, being one of them, perhaps!
But, this Feast is a great reminder for us to be reminded that the Catholic Teachings (like the teaching on Angels) are…
… Scripturally rooted
… Traditionally verified
… Logically reasonable
… and spiritually nourishing!
May this Feast of the three Archangels – St Michael, St Gabriel and St Raphael – help us to…
… grow in our love for our heavenly friends…
>> And orient our lives more towards heaven!
Happy Feast of the Heavenly Protectors!
God Bless! Live Jesus!