St. Raphael the Archangel and Tobias
St. Raphael Biography
Raphael means 'God's healing' or 'God the Healer. The word
'angel' denotes a function rather than a nature. The holy spirits
of heaven can only be called angels when they deliver some message.
Those who deliver messages of lesser importance are called angels;
and those who proclaim messages of supreme importance are called
archangels. God created angels to perform various services for
Him. One of those services was to watch over (or guard) human
beings. Those angels are called 'guardians'. Belief is that each
human is assigned to the protection of one guardian angel at all
times but many angels may come to protect or guide one human is
it is necessary.
Angels are pure spirits. They are not born therefore they
never die. Contrary to popular belief people do not become angels
when they die. People must become 'saints' in order to enter into
heaven. Belief is that when a person dies and their soul is not
worthy of entering heaven the soul is then cleansed in purgatory
(something like one bathing and preparing his best before he is
granted audience with the kind
in this case with the Lord
St. Raphael the Archangel is one of seven Archangels who
stand before the Lord. According to the Old Testament St. Raphael
was sent by God to aid, Tobit, Tobiah and Sarah. Tobit was blind
and Sarah, Tobiah's betrothed, had already suffered the deaths
of seven bridegrooms the night of their weddings (at the hands
of a demon serial killer named Asmodeus. Disguised as a man named
Azariah, Raphael accompanied Tobiah to Media and through difficulties
and taught him how to safely enter marriage with Sarah. (from:
According to the Book of Enoch (10:5-7) Raphael bound Azazel
under a desert called Dudael "And again the Lord said
to Raphael: 'Bind Azazel hand and foot, and cast him into the
darkness: and make an opening in the desert, which is in Dudael,
and cast him therein. And place upon him rough and jagged rocks,
and cover him with darkness, and let him abide there for ever,
and cover his face that he may not see light. And on the day of
the great judgment he shall be cast into the fire."
Through healing Tobit of blindness and the saving waters at Bethsda,
Archangel Raphael's image as 'the healer' becomes evident. He
is also patron of the blind, of happy meetings, of nurses, of
physicians and of travelers.
The Archangels Michael and Gabriel are mentioned in the
New Testament but the only referral to the Archangel Raphael is
in John's Gospel of Revelation 5:1-4 at the pool at Bethsda where
a multitude lay waiting for an angel of the lord to descend and
move the water. The unnamed angel is assumed to be Saint Raphael.
All three Archangels share the feast day of Sept. 29th.
According to the Book of Enoch (cf. xxi) The other angels are
named are Uriel, Raguel, Sariel, and Jerahmeel,
According to Islamic scriptures Saint Raphael the Archangel, along
with Michael and Gabriel, is believed to have accompanied Muhammad
to Mecca. Raphael is said to be responsible for signaling the
coming of Judgment Day by blowing a horn, thus sending out a "Blast
of Truth". Unlike Gabriel (Jibrail) and Michael (Mikail)
are mentioned by name in the Quran. Raphael is not.
St. Raphael is one of the four named Archangels
in scripture (Tobit 3:17). The name means "Healing
of God". Tradition holds that Raphael was given the
task of restoring the earth after the downfall of Lucifer
and his angels. The Archangel is shown hard at work, planting
an angelica bush. Behind him are the pottery kilns from
Stoke-on-Trent, symbolizing the earth laid waste. Raphael
carries an angelic staff and his other attribute, the wayfarer's
bag. He is flanked by a Seraph and by Great Martyr George,
subduing the dragon.
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