Friday 29 September 2017

# Saints

Feast of the Holy Archangels

Gabriel, Michael and Raphael, depicted in stained glass in St Ailbe's Church, a Catholic church in Ireland

The 29th of September is the feast day of Archangels, Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel and Saint Raphael. They are the only angels mentioned by name in the Bible.

Guido Reni's Michael (in Santa Maria della Concezione church, Rome, 1636) tramples Satan. A mosaic of the same painting decorates St. Michael's Altar in St. Peter's Basilica.
Saint Michael's name means "Who is like God?" He is the Guardian of the Catholic Church; Guardian of Vatican City; protector of the Jewish people, Germany, France, Ukraine, Brussels, Kiev, Arkhangelsk, Argao, Cebu, Philippines, and the patron saint of police officers,military, grocers, mariners, paratroopers, firefighters, paramedics, and invoked against sickness.

The following is from Butler's Lives of the Saints:
"MI-CA-EL," or "Who is like to God?" Such was the cry of the great Archangel when he smote the rebel Lucifer in the conflict of the heavenly hosts, and from that hour he has been known as "Michael," the captain of the armies of God, the type of divine fortitude, the champion of every faithful soul in strife with the powers of evil.
p. 326
[paragraph continues]Thus he appears in Holy Scripture as the guardian of the children of Israel, their comfort and protector in times of sorrow or conflict. He it is who prepares for their return from the Persian captivity, who leads the valiant Maccabees to victory, and who rescues the body of Moses from the envious grasp of the Evil One. And since Christ's coming the Church has ever venerated St. Michael as her special patron and protector. She invokes him by name in her confession of sin, summons him to the side of her children in the agony of death, and chooses him as their escort from the chastening flames of purgatory to the realms of holy light. Lastly, when Antichrist shall have set up his kingdom on earth, it is Michael who will unfurl once more the standard of the Cross, sound the last trumpet, and binding together the false prophet and the beast, hurl them for all eternity into the burning pool.
Reflection.—"Whenever," says St. Bernard, "any grievous temptation or vehement sorrow oppresses thee, invoke thy guardian, thy leader; cry out to him, and say, 'Lord, save us, lest we perish!'"

Detail of Gabriel from Pinturicchio's The Annunciation (1501)

Saint Gabriel's name means "Power of God." He is known for the angel that appeared to Our Lady during the Annunciation. He is the patron saint of telecommunication workers, radio broadcasters, messengers, postal workers, clerics, diplomats, stamp collectors, Portugal, Santander, Cebu, and ambassadors.

Saint Raphael the Archangel by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

Saint Raphael's name means "God has healed." He was the angel that accompanied Tobiah and healing his father in the book of Tobit. He is the patron saint of apothecaries; ordained marriage; blind people; bodily ills; diocese of Madison, WI; druggists; archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa; eye problems; guardian angels; happy meetings; insanity; lovers; mental illness; nightmares; nurses; pharmacists; physicians; archdiocese of Seattle, Washington; Aloguinsan, Cebu, Philippines; shepherds; sick people; travellers; and young people.