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Lifelong Catechesis

Forming Catholic identity across generations
November 23, 2017
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Ordinary Time

For a large part of the liturgical year, we devote ourselves to listening to the mystery of Christ in all its aspects unfolded as we seek God's truth and understanding.

Saint of the Week

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels

The Revelation of St. John tells us that Michael led the heavenly hosts that cast Satan and his followers out of heaven. He was also regarded in the early Church as the protector of Christians against the devil. Appropriately, he is the patron saint of infantry, paratroopers, mariners, and police.

Gabriel was the archangel who was God's messenger. He was mentioned twice as such in the Old Testament (Book of Daniel), but is more prominently known in two New Testament passages. He foretells the birth of John the Baptist to Zechariah (Lk 1:11-20), and proclaims the birth of Jesus to Mary (Lk 1:26-38). Gabriel is the patron of messengers, postal workers, and those working in various telecommunications fields.

Raphael is the only other archangel identified by name. One of the seven archangels who stand before the Lord, Raphael was sent by God to minister to Tobias and his family (Book of Tobit). He also is the angel who healed the earth when it was defiled by the sins of the fallen angels (Enoch 10:7). Raphael is the patron of physicians, nurses, travelers, the blind, and lovers.

The three archangels are honored together with a Feast on September 29. This date was formerly St. Michael's feast day and has been known for centuries as Michaelmas Day.

The Archangels' message today: In Christian tradition, angels are sent by God to guide, guard, and heal us. They also inform people of a particular mission from God. There has been a renewed interest in angels in the past few years as more and more people seek out ways to better communicate with God.

  • How do you regard the idea of angels? Where do they fit in with your overall spirituality?