ST. MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL
ST. RAPHAEL THE ARCHANGEL
The liturgy for today celebrates the feast of the three archangels who have been venerated throughout the history of the Church, Michael (from the Hebrew Who is like God?) is the archangel who defends the friends of God against Satan and all his evil angels. Gabriel, (the Power of God), is chosen by the Creator to announce to Mary the mystery of the Incarnation. Raphael, (the Medicine of God), is the archangel who takes care of Tobias on his journey.I have a special fondness for angels and it is a sign of my Catholic geekiness, I suppose, that I got an excited "Christmas morning" sort of thrill when I realized today's feast.
I read for the first time about angels when we were in the hospital with my father-in-law after his stroke. That made a big impression on me at the time. I always attribute the miracle that happened to the Holy Family but the angels are divine messengers and so have their place in it as well. Because of that I always have remembered that we can call not only on our friends for intercessory prayer, but also on angels for intercession and help. The prayer to St. Michael is one of my favorites.
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in 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 around the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.Some more on angels.
You should be aware that the word "angel" denotes a function rather than a nature. Those holy spirits of heaven have indeed always been spirits. They can only be called angels when they deliver some message. Moreover, those who deliver messages of lesser importance are called angels; and those who proclaim messages of supreme importance are called archangels.Sadly, I don't have any angel food cake (it really is not that sad an occurrence as I abhor angel food cake), however I may stop by and pick up some heavenly, cloud-like meringues on the way home so we can celebrate properly!From a homily by Pope Saint Gregory the Great.
Other good places to read about angels today:
- Images taken from this post by Mama T which you should go read also.
- Broken Alabaster has not only a nice reflection on the archangels but shares some of her family's encounters with angels ... some good, some not.
- Salve Regina has a gaggle of lovely angel art as well as some nice commentary
- Some good archangel prayers thanks to Michelle H.
- Georgette shares one of the best excerpts I've ever seen about these angels (I'm printing this one out for repeated reading)
- Mike Aquilina keeps us grounded in the fathers of the church as well as providing useful links to other good resources.
- On the practical level, Elena has a good idea for an angelic feast