Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels

Today, September 29, is the Feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels.

From a homily by Pope St. Gregory the Great:

Some angels are given proper names to denote the service they are empowered to perform. … Thus, Michael means “Who is like God?”; Gabriel is “The Strength of God”; and Raphael is “God’s Remedy.”

Whenever some act of wondrous power must be performed, Michael is sent, so that his action and his name may make it clear that no one can do what God does by his superior power. So, also our ancient for desired in his pride to be like God, saying: I will ascend into heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of heaven; I will be like the Most High. He will be allowed to remain in power until the end of the world when he will be destroyed in the final punishment. The, he will fight with the archangel Michael, as we are told by John: A battle was fought with Michael the archangel.

So too Gabriel, who is called God’s strength, was sent to Mary. He came to announce the One who appeared as a humble man to quell the cosmic powers. Thus God’s strength announced the coming of the Lord in the heavenly powers, mighty in battle.

Raphael means, as I have said, God’s remedy, for when he touched Tobit’s eyes in order to cure him, he banished the darkness of his blindness. Thus, since he is to heal, he is rightly called God’s remedy.

From: The Liturgy of the Hours

Bishop Stika of Knoxville has instructed the faithful to join in the Prayer of St. Michael after each Mass celebrated in the diocese over the next year, as a means of fortifying the Church against attacks of the devil:

St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.

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