This Saturday, the Church celebrates the Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael the Archangels.
Saint Michael is the Prince of the Heavenly Hosts of Angels and he is also the chief Warrior Archangel. He threw the disgraced Archangel Lucifer who became Satan out of heaven along with all the wicked angels who chose to reject and rebel against God, as they chose not to serve God but sought their own power and glory. St Michael can help us too when we are in great spiritual need. St Michael is also Patron of Police Officers and members of the Armed Forces.
Saint Gabriel is God’s Messenger Archangel who came to Our Lady in Nazareth as he was sent by God to tell her that she would become the Mother of Jesus, God’s Holy Son made Man for us to be our Saviour. He may have been the Archangel who appeared to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane as He began His passion. Saint Gabriel also appeared to Zechariah, the father of St John the Baptist and told him as he ministered before the Lord in the Temple that he was going to become a father in his old age. Zechariah did not believe Gabriel, so he was struck mute by him and unable to speak until the day when the child was brought forth to the Temple to be named.
Saint Raphael is God’s healing Archangel. In the Book of Tobit, part of the Apocrypha Biblical historical books in the Old Testament, we follow the story of Tobit and his son Tobias. The Archangel Raphael accompanied Tobias to help him find a cure for his father, Tobit who was blind. His name means “God heals.”
As we continue our journey through the new School Year with all the challenges and opportunities it brings, it’s good to pause and remember that God our Father, in His love and care for us has given each one of us a special angel to guard us and help us. He has also made sure we have the complete protection of the Holy Archangels too.
In scripture we read in Psalm 91, verses 11 and 12;
“God will put His angels in charge of you, to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up in their hands, to keep you from hurting your feet on the stones.” GNB
Jesus Himself, during His earthly life spoke about and was ministered to by angels. When Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights before He began His ministry, angels came and refreshed Him after His temptation there by Satan. Later, in the Garden of Gethsemane, as Jesus began His suffering and Passion for us, an angel came and strengthened Him. At the Resurrection, two angels were there at the empty tomb to tell Mary Magdalene and the women who had arrived to anoint Jesus’ Body that He had risen from the dead.
We can be sure that we too can pray to God and ask Him to send our Guardian Angel to help us in our time of need.
Our prayers this week;
O Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here. Ever this day (night) be at my side to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.
Another powerful prayer that is sometimes forgotten yet which is a traditional prayer of the Church and is said after praying the Rosary and before bed or travelling is the prayer to St Michael the Archangel.
Holy Michael the Archangel, defend us in the 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 thrust down into Hell Satan and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen