Every year on September 29th the Church celebrates three of the Archangel saints: Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. Then on October 2nd, the Church celebrates the Feast of our Guardian Angels.
RECOGNITION AND DEVOTION. We should all recognize the presence, the prayers, the power, and the personality of the angels. These faithful angels are in heaven, but also they exercise great power on earth. How many times have we been spared from physical and moral disasters due to the intercession of the holy angels? Only God knows, and we will only know in the end when God Himself reveals this to all of creation!
ARCHANGEL RAPHAEL. Our focal point in this short essay will be upon the person of the ARCHANGEL RAPHAEL. We hope and pray that all will discover the presence, power, prayers, and person-hood of this great Archangel.
READ BOOK OF TOBIT. We invite all to read the Wisdom Book of the Old Testament entitled The Book of Tobit. In this short but highly instructive spiritual masterpiece, we encounter the mysterious but powerful presence of the Archangel Raphael. We honestly believe that those who read this wonderful text of the Word of God will fall in love with the Archangel Raphael, and entrust many of their cares and problems to his powerful intercession.
RAPHAEL’S MULTI-PURPOSE POWER OF INTERCESSION. Many of us have called on good Saint Anthony upon losing some object; and more often than not we discover the lost object. Obviously one of the charisms of Saint Anthony is to help us to find what was lost! In the case of the Archangel Raphael, his intercession is multiple. Indeed, if we pray with faith, fervor, and confidence, many graces and blessings will descend upon us and our activities through the intercession of Saint Raphael. After reading the Book of Tobit, you will understand more clearly, but here they are…
1. PATRON OF TRAVELERS. Raphael is the patron of travelers because he helped the young Tobit to arrive safely and securely at his destiny—the home of his future wife, Sarah, and her parents. May good Saint Raphael accompany us on our journey to heaven, our true and eternal destiny!
2. PATRON OF FRIENDS. Not only did Raphael travel with young Tobit, but he also established a deep and dynamic friendship with him. We all need friends! Why not choose Raphael to be one of your best friends? We may fail him, but he will never fail us. In all times and circumstances, he is ready and quick to rush to our rescue.
3. PATRON OF COURTSHIPS. In a world where there are so many divorces and for many different reasons, Raphael is the patron of solid Christian courtships. It was Raphael that connected Tobit with his future wife, Sarah. One of the most important decisions that any person can make is who he/she chooses to marry. Raphael can help in making the right decision—of life-long importance!
4. PATRON OF MARRIAGES. Of course a holy courtship eventually leads to marriage and the family. Raphael was sent from God to Tobit so that he would choose the right wife and form a holy and God-fearing family. Let us pray to Raphael for the young who are called to the vocation of marriage, so that they make the right decision and marry the person that God has willed for them until death do they part.
5. PATRON OF PURITY. Sarah had lost several prospect husbands. In each case, on their wedding night the devil Asmodeus entered into the bridal chamber and killed them off. Possibly one of the reasons for the sudden and violent death of these prospect husbands was that they pursued Sarah for lustful reasons and purposes rather than for true love. Tobit’s intentions were pure, so Raphael intervened and Tobit was spared. May Raphael help this world of ours to strive to live the Beatitude: Blessed are the pure of heart for they will see God. (Mt 5:8)
6. PATRON OF HAPPY MEETINGS. Whenever there is a meeting or an important encounter in the Book of Tobit arranged through the intercession of Archangel Raphael, it is a happy meeting. This is very important for us. Before meeting people—either individually or collectively—we should invite Raphael to be present with us. He will pave the way for a happy and fruitful meeting.
7. ANGELIC DOCTOR. The name Raphael actually means Medicine of God or God heals. If we are going through some sort of health issue, why not invoke Raphael and beg for his intercession? Before Doctor’s visits, before consultations, before surgical interventions, as well as health recovery, why not invoke Raphael? God heals through his intercession.
8. PATRON OF VISION. The father of young Tobit had a sight impairment which eventually led to total blindness, despite the effort of several Doctors. The Archangel Raphael told the younger Tobit to apply fish gall to the eyes of the elderly Tobit. Upon the application of the fish gall, something like scales peeled off his father’s eyes and his sight was completely restored. Let us entrust our eyes to Raphael, and pray to God and to Raphael that we would use our eyes to glorify God, and to contemplate the beauty of God in creation!
9. PATRON OF PRAYER OF PRAISE AND THANKS. When at the end, the family of Tobit wanted to praise the Archangel Raphael, this humble and great angelic person directed gratitude and praise to God who alone deserves thanks, praise, honor, and homage! Let us turn to Raphael and beg him for the grace of a deeper prayer life. May Raphael teach us to thank and praise God constantly with our lips, but also with the way we live!
10. PATRON OF JOY! The whole being, presence, and activity of the Archangel Raphael resounds with a hymn of joy to God! Through his intercession, tragic circumstances were transformed into joyful and victorious turn arounds! An elderly man recovered his sight, and a young couple married in a marital union of true and authentic love. In the midst of the sorrows of life, let us invoke the good Archangel Raphael and our sorrows will be transformed into joy! May Our Lady, Queen of Angels, and cause of our joy, pray for us!
Father Ed Broom, OMV, is Associate Pastor of St. Peter Chanel Church in Hawaiian Gardens, California. He is a member of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary and was ordained by Saint John Paul II on May 25, 1986. Fr. Ed teaches Catholic Ignatian Marian Spirituality through articles, podcasts, a radio show, retreats and spiritual direction.