SummaryThe Feast of the Archangels is an opportunity to reflect on the missions and tasks in salvation history that God appointed to each angel.
Only three archangels are mentioned by name in the Holy Scripture, thereby distinguishing them as particular helpers to those here on earth in need. St. Thomas Aquinas teaches that angels have unique natures as pure spirits, entirely unlike those of human beings, who share a common nature.
Angels are much closer to the divine in nature, with a likeness to God that we cannot have. Even with these unique natures, Thomas Aquinas taught that angels could be classified into nine choirs. The Archangels and angels serve as greater and lesser messengers to us from God, and of the seven archangels that God has chosen as messengers, the three whose names we know are Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.
St. Michael Who is Like God
Michael, whose name in Hebrew means Who is Like God, defends heaven when war breaks out. “And now war broke out in heaven when Michael with his angels attacked the dragon. The dragon fought back with his angels, but they were defeated and driven out of heaven.” Revelations 12:7-8 (NJB)
Since the evil one now roams freely on earth, St. Michael is our defense against his machinations and helps us battle our inclinations toward sin. He is the patron saint of police officers, soldiers, and paratroopers.
Raphael God Heals
Raphael, whose name in Hebrew means “God Heals,” is mentioned in the Book of Tobit, and it is there that we learn that there are seven angels. “I was sent to test your faith, and at the same time, God sent me to heal you and your daughter-in-law Sarah. I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who stand ever ready to enter the presence of the glory of the Lord.” Tobit 12:13-15 (NJB)
St. Raphael is the patron saint of the blind, happy meetings, nurses, and physicians. St. Raphael is our prayer partner when we need healing or matchmaking (a happy meeting).
St. Gabriel Man of God
Gabriel’s name in Hebrew is “Man of God,” and he is the messenger sent to ask the Blessed Virgin if she would consent to be the mother of God. “In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the House of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.” Luke 1:26-27 (NJB)
St. Gabriel is the patron saint of communications and can intercede on our behalf when we struggle to be heard.
Celebrating the feast day of these Archangels reminds us that God tasked each with very specific tasks and each with a mission in salvation history. Like all the angels who sided with God in the battle with the evil one, saints, the word saint is derived from the Greek ha gios meaning “holy one.”
The feast day of the Holy Archangels is September 29.
Download the free Saint of the Month poster designed by Emily Prause using the button below. You can pin it to your classroom wall or place it on your refrigerator to help your children learn more about The Holy Archangels.Download Printable Saint Page